You are here: Home » News-ANI » Science
Business Standard

Working memory plays major role in academic achievement


A new study has revealed that working memory plays an important role in reading and early academic achievement among children.

The study suggested that children with learning difficulties might benefit from teaching methods that prevent working memory overload.

The study sought to identify the cognitive skills underpinning learning success, so children were tested for IQ and so-called "executive functions", a set of cognitive processes that people use to control their thoughts and actions, including how they remember information, control their emotions and shift between thoughts.

The study was conducted in Brazil on 106 children between 6 and 8 from a range of social backgrounds, with half living under the official poverty line. Similar studies have been conducted in the English-speaking world, so it was interesting to see that the results were similar in this highly-unequal, Portuguese-speaking society.

The results found that a child's working memory skills, their ability to hold and work with information in mind, predicted success in all aspects of learning, regardless of IQ; moreover, most children identified by their teachers as "poor readers" struggled with their working memory.

Dr. Pascale Engel de Abreu, Associate Professor at the University of Luxembourg said that their findings found the importance of early screening and intervention, especially in the context of poverty.

She further explained that poor literacy, low academic achievement and living in poverty created a mutually reinforcing cycle and there could be a chance to break this by early identification of children with working memory problems and by helping them to acquire the mental tools which would enable them to learn.

The study is published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, July 09 2014. 16:48 IST