Working memory in Cantonese and German speaking dyslexic children
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Institute of Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Submission date: 2019-07-17
Final revision date: 2019-09-20
Acceptance date: 2019-09-20
Online publication date: 2019-10-30
Publication date: 2019-10-16
Health Psychology Report 2019;7(4):305-315
The performance of visual and auditory working memory together with different automated central executive functions was investigated on the basis of four computerized, adaptive task sets with measurement of accuracy and reaction time.

Participants and procedure:
Eighty-six children selected from 192 dyslexic and nondyslexic children (mean age = 10.29 years) in Hong Kong and Leipzig were matched on intelligence by using the Culture Fair test (CFT 20) and age. The used reading and writing tests were language specific but scientifically similar. Four task sets with visual material (dot and line patterns) and auditory material (tone sequences) were adapted and randomly presented by a computer. Mean and maximum accuracy and speed parameters were measured. The hypotheses of dyslexia deficits and Chinese superiority in working memory performance on nonverbal material were examined.

The Cantonese speaking children were found to have a working memory advantage in the speed measure on all four task sets with visual and auditory stimulus presentation, and in the accuracy measure on the auditory tasks only. Dyslexia deficits were only found in the Chinese sample for the maximum performance parameters and one auditory task set. In the German sample, the dyslexia deficits were found to be more generalized in the auditory matching and reproduction task sets concerning mean and maximum accuracy and speed parameters.

The novel approach in this study concerns the new paradigm of adaptive, time efficient testing of working memory functions with nonverbal, auditory and visual material.

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