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Short-term memory and working memory as indices of children’s cognitive skills.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Associated organisational unit

Journal publication date07/2001
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


In the current literature, empirical and conceptual distinctions have been drawn between a more or less passive short-term memory (STM) system and a more dynamic working memory (WM) system. Distinct tasks have been developed to measure their capacity and research has generally shown that, for adults, WM, and not STM, is a reliable predictor of general cognitive ability. However, the locus of the differences between the tasks has received little attention. We present data from children concerning measures of matrices reasoning ability, reading, and numerical skill along with forward and backward order serial recall ofWM, STM, and STM with articulatory suppression tasks. As indices of children’s cognitive skills, STM and WM are shown to be rather similar in terms of memory per se. Neither the opportunity for rehearsal nor task complexity provides satisfactory explanations for differences between memory tests.