Can verbal working memory training improve reading?

Erin Banales*, Saskia Kohnen, Genevieve McArthur

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of the current study was to determine whether poor verbal working memory is associated with poor word reading accuracy because the former causes the latter, or the latter causes the former. To this end, we tested whether (a) verbal working memory training improves poor verbal working memory or poor word reading accuracy, and whether (b) reading training improves poor reading accuracy or verbal working memory in a case series of four children with poor word reading accuracy and verbal working memory. Each child completed 8 weeks of verbal working memory training and 8 weeks of reading training. Verbal working memory training improved verbal working memory in two of the four children, but did not improve their reading accuracy. Similarly, reading training improved word reading accuracy in all children, but did not improve their verbal working memory. These results suggest that the causal links between verbal working memory and reading accuracy may not be as direct as has been assumed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)104-132
    Number of pages29
    JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
    Volume32
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015

    Keywords

    • poor reading
    • reading accuracy
    • training
    • verbal working memory

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