Literature has shown that numerosity representation is based on an innate predisposition shared with animals. However its refinement and its acuity develop with age and may be impaired in atypical populations, and in particular in children with dyscalculia. For example the numerosity judgements of 10 year old children with dyscalculia are as poor as the judgements given by 5 year old typically developing children. However it has been suggested that this difficulty should be more evident in symbolic than in nonsymbolic tasks, supporting the hypothesis that numerosity concepts and their symbolic representations must be dissociated in the examination of arithmetic difficulties (Rousselle and Noël, 2007). A different line of research is showing that some basic cognitive processes may support the development of arithmetic competence and one of the crucial processes is represented by visuospatial working memory (VSWM). However it is not clear whether these processes are directly related with artithmetical development or support basic arithmetic representations. In sum large evidence is suggesting that numerosity representation is one of the basic abilities for the development of arithmetic competence. The present study considers the case of individuals with Down syndrome, whose arithmetic difficulties are well known in order to examine whether their difficulties are related with difficulties in numerosity representations and in VSWM. Furthermore it is not clear whether the pattern of performance which can be observed in a numerosity discrimination task is related with the pattern of performance observed in a task requiring to estimate the result of the sum of two numerosities. To this purpose individuals with Down syndrome and typically developing children matched for fluid intelligence were administered a battery of arithmetic and VSWM tasks. Arithmetic tasks included symbolic and nonsymbolic numerosity estimations tasks concerning either single or sum of pairs of dot arrays (which had to be compared with a reference array). VSWM tasks tasks examined different components of working memory. Results showed that not necessarily Down syndrome individuals are poor in arithmetic and VSWM and that arithmetic difficulties may be mediated by working memory functioning.

Number Acuity and Working Memory in Children with Down Síndrome

BELACCHI, CARMEN;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Literature has shown that numerosity representation is based on an innate predisposition shared with animals. However its refinement and its acuity develop with age and may be impaired in atypical populations, and in particular in children with dyscalculia. For example the numerosity judgements of 10 year old children with dyscalculia are as poor as the judgements given by 5 year old typically developing children. However it has been suggested that this difficulty should be more evident in symbolic than in nonsymbolic tasks, supporting the hypothesis that numerosity concepts and their symbolic representations must be dissociated in the examination of arithmetic difficulties (Rousselle and Noël, 2007). A different line of research is showing that some basic cognitive processes may support the development of arithmetic competence and one of the crucial processes is represented by visuospatial working memory (VSWM). However it is not clear whether these processes are directly related with artithmetical development or support basic arithmetic representations. In sum large evidence is suggesting that numerosity representation is one of the basic abilities for the development of arithmetic competence. The present study considers the case of individuals with Down syndrome, whose arithmetic difficulties are well known in order to examine whether their difficulties are related with difficulties in numerosity representations and in VSWM. Furthermore it is not clear whether the pattern of performance which can be observed in a numerosity discrimination task is related with the pattern of performance observed in a task requiring to estimate the result of the sum of two numerosities. To this purpose individuals with Down syndrome and typically developing children matched for fluid intelligence were administered a battery of arithmetic and VSWM tasks. Arithmetic tasks included symbolic and nonsymbolic numerosity estimations tasks concerning either single or sum of pairs of dot arrays (which had to be compared with a reference array). VSWM tasks tasks examined different components of working memory. Results showed that not necessarily Down syndrome individuals are poor in arithmetic and VSWM and that arithmetic difficulties may be mediated by working memory functioning.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2535235
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact