The role of mathematical anxiety and working memory on the performance of different types of arithmetic tasks

Sarit Ashkenazi*, Yehudit Danan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Goal of the current study was to compare the respective roles of domain general cognitive skills with domain specific quantitative understanding, as well as the effect of math anxiety, on the performance of different types of arithmetic tasks. Fifty-eight adults performed a battery of tests. We found dissociations between domain general abilities that supported verbally or spatially mediated arithmetic tasks. The verbally mediated tasks were supported by the verbal central executive component of working memory, while the spatially mediated task, number line knowledge, was supported by the spatial central executive component of working memory. Different tasks had differential relationships with math anxiety: math anxiety effected school-like math tasks more than verbally mediated tasks and number line task. Math anxiety was negatively influenced by the spatial central executive component of working memory, indicating that spatial working memory can be a source of vulnerability to math anxiety.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Neuroscience and Education
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier GmbH

Keywords

  • Approximate number sense
  • Arithmetic
  • Mathematical anxiety
  • Verbal code of number
  • Working memory

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