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Journal Article

Literacy: Exploring working memory systems


Petersson,  Karl Magnus
Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Cognitive Neurophysiology Research Group, Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden;
Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Departamento de Psicologia, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais & Institute of Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Centre for Molecular and Structural Biomedicine, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal;

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Silva, C., Faísca, L., Ingvar, M., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2012). Literacy: Exploring working memory systems. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 34(4), 369-377. doi:10.1080/13803395.2011.645017.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-3373-0
Previous research showed an important association between reading and writing skills (literacy) and the phonological loop. However, the effects of literacy on other working memory components remain unclear. In this study, we investigated performance of illiterate subjects and their matched literate controls on verbal and nonverbal working memory tasks. Results revealed that the phonological loop is significantly influenced by literacy, while the visuospatial sketchpad appears to be less affected or not at all. Results also suggest that the central executive might be influenced by literacy, possibly as an expression of cognitive reserve.