Improving working memory in children with low language abilities

Joni Holmes*, Sally Butterfield, Francesca Cormack, Anita van Loenhoud, Leanne Ruggero, Linda Kashikar, Susan Gathercole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated whether working memory training is effective in enhancing verbal memory in children with low language abilities (LLA). Cogmed Working Memory Training was completed by a community sample of children aged 8-11 years with LLA and a comparison group with matched non-verbal abilities and age-typical language performance. Short-term memory (STM), working memory, language, and IQ were assessed before and after training. Significant and equivalent post-training gains were found in visuo-spatial short-term memory in both groups. Exploratory analyses across the sample established that low verbal IQ scores were strongly and highly specifically associated with greater gains in verbal STM, and that children with higher verbal IQs made greater gains in visuo-spatial short-term memory following training. This provides preliminary evidence that intensive working memory training may be effective for enhancing the weakest aspects of STM in children with low verbal abilities, and may also be of value in developing compensatory strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number519
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • cognitive training
  • intervention
  • language
  • SLI
  • verbal IQ
  • working memory

Cite this

Holmes, J., Butterfield, S., Cormack, F., Loenhoud, A. V., Ruggero, L., Kashikar, L., & Gathercole, S. (2015). Improving working memory in children with low language abilities. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-9. [519]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00519