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Child Neuropsychol. 2009 Mar;15(2):105-19. doi: 10.1080/09297040802112564. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Working memory in individuals with fragile X syndrome.

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University of Padova, Department of Developmental Psychology, Padova, Italy.


The present research tests the hypothesis that fragile X syndrome (FXS) is associated with a deficit in working memory (WM) and the deficit is more pronounced the higher the control requirements of the task. To this purpose, 15 boys with FXS and 15 typically developing children, matched for mental age, assessed with Logical Operation Test, were tested with batteries of 4 verbal and 4 visuospatial WM tasks requiring different levels of control. Children with FXS showed a performance equal to controls, in WM tasks requiring low and medium-low control but significant impairment in correspondence with greater control requirements. Results show that boys with FXS present a WM deficit only when high control is required by the task, supporting the hypothesis that control can be a critical variable distinguishing WM functions and explaining intellectual differences. On the contrary the hypothesis that the FXS is associated with a visuospatial deficit was not supported.

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