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Working memory components and intelligence in children
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 36, no 5, 394-402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated, in children aged 6-13 years, how different components of the working memory (WM) system (short-term storage and executive processes), within both verbal and visuospatial domains, relate to fluid intelligence. We also examined the degree of domain-specificity of the WM components as well as the differentiation of storage and executive components. The short-term memory (STM) and WM tasks used allowed us to statistically separate the executive from the storage processes, enabling examination of separate processes in relation to intelligence. Our results demonstrated that all four WM components (verbal- and visuospatial short-term storage and verbal- and visuospatial executive processes) provided significant, independent contributions to intelligence, indicating that, in children, both storage and executive processes of the WM system are relevant to intelligence. Especially intriguing are our findings showing that verbal and visuospatial executive processes independently predicted intelligence, suggesting that, in children, the executive processes may rely on separate resources for the verbal and visuospatial domains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 36, no 5, 394-402 p.
Keyword [en]
Children, Intelligence, Short-term memory (STM); Verbal, Visuospatial, Working memory (WM)
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97507DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2007.10.001ISI: 000259155300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97507DiVA: diva2:172485
Available from: 2008-09-15 Created: 2008-09-15 Last updated: 2012-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Working Memory and Higher-Order Cognition in Children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Working Memory and Higher-Order Cognition in Children
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Higher-order cognitive functions, such as executive function (EF) and intelligence, are crucial to the everyday functioning of human beings. Gaining knowledge about these functions is important for our general understanding of human nature as well as for our ability to help those who may not develop these processes optimally. The present thesis focused particularly on the EF component working memory (WM), described as the ability to maintain informa-tion in consciousness during short time periods with the purpose of using that information in complex cognition. The major aims of the thesis were to increase our understanding of higher-order cognition in children as well as of deficiencies in intelligence found in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We approached these aims by studying the interrelations among EF-related components in terms of their independent contributions to intellectual functioning. We also studied whether the lower intelligence in children with ADHD was mediated by fundamental EF-related components or whether these deficiencies went beyond the weaknesses in these specific cognitive functions.

Interpreting the present data, we suggest that intellectual functioning in children is best viewed as representing a system of primarily independent parts that may be accompanied by an overarching common mechanism. The multiple components involve, but are surely not limited to, WM functions, inhibitory functions, sustained attention, and processing speed. One of these functions, WM, was found to be further partitioned into domain-specific executive WM processes and domain-specific short-term storage processes, all of which constitute important aspects of higher-order cognitive functioning. We have further learned that deficits in fluid intelligence in children with ADHD may entail more than weaknesses in specific central cognitive functions. This additional deficit is cautiously interpreted as involving supe-rior executive attention functions setting the stage for the development and integration of the EF system as well as the “intelligence system”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 77 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 43
Keyword
Intelligence, executive function (EF), working memory, ADHD, children
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9271 (URN)978-91-554-7274-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-06, Sal VIII, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-15 Created: 2008-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Tillman, CarinBohlin, Gunilla

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