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Psychol Bull. 1993 Sep;114(2):345-62.

Mathematical disabilities: cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic components.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.


Cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic correlates of mathematical achievement and mathematical disability (MD) are reviewed in an attempt to identify the core deficits underlying MD. Three types of distinct cognitive, neuropsychological, or cognitive and neuropsychological deficits associated with MD are identified. The first deficit is manifested by difficulties in the representation or retrieval of arithmetic facts from semantic memory. The second type of deficit is manifested by problems in the execution of arithmetical procedures. The third type involves problems in the visuospatial representation of numerical information. Potential cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic factors contributing to these deficits, and the relationship between MD and reading disabilities, are discussed. Finally, suggestions for the subtyping of mathematical disorders are offered.

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