The role of working memory central executive system in the development of reading

S. Atkinson, H. Whiteley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Objectives: The objectives are to investigate whether early working memory strategy is a predictor of reading success independent of other factors, and to examine the role of the central executive system in reading development. Design: A longitudinal design is used. Children were screened in the Reception year at school. A range of measures were collected in Year 1, and will be repeated in Years 2 and 3. Methods: 118 children from four schools were screened using measures of general ability, phonological ability and a dyslexia screening test. On the basis of results, children were allocated to one of three groups (at risk of reading difficulty, borderline, and not at risk). Measures to be used at each point in time include reading, spelling, vocabulary, and a range of measures of working memory and central executive function. Results: Early results show a relationship between working memory, vocabulary and reading ability, and marked differences between individuals in their ability to inhibit irrelevant information. The children with the most immature memory strategies and least ability to inhibit show the greatest number of dyslexia indicators. Conclusions: Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for teaching and intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference - Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Mar 200315 Mar 2003


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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