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Working Memory and Learning Disabilities: A Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by bhavin   
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 15:05

Pradeep Kumar Gupta (Clinical Psychologist, Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital, New Delhi, India)
Dr. Vibha Sharma (Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences, Delhi, India)

DIP: 18.01.013/20170404


Working Memory provides a mental work place to support everyday cognitive activities that require both processing and storage. It has been found to be associated with a range of cognitive functions. Recently, a strong link between working memory and learning has been reported. This finding can be implicated in learning disabilities. It is likely that limited working memory functioning of children with learning disabilities hampers their learning skills; possibly because of the crucial role played by working memory in learning process. The current paper reviews working memory functioning in subtypes of learning disabilities (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia) and provides a detailed account of pattern of deficit seen in working memory in the three subtypes of LD. Review of literature suggests that working memory functions differently in children with LD than normal achieving children. Children with LD often fail to learn because high working memory demand of the learning task often exceeds their working memory capacity. Some researchers suggest that working memory deficits are not entirely a capacity deficit, rather a strategy deficit. Evidences suggest that learning performance of these children can be improved by teaching appropriate strategy to reduce working memory load of the task, and through remedial training. Failure to identify working memory problems at early stage and rectify resultant learning problems may leave the child struggling with this invisible handicap and can even lead to dropout from school.

Keywords: Working Memory, Cognitive functions, Learning Disability (LD), Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia

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© 2017 Gupta P K, Sharma V

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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*Responding Author

Received: June 17, 2017; Revision Received: July 2, 2017; Accepted: July 20, 2017

How to cite this article:

Gupta P K, & Sharma V (2017). Working Memory and Learning Disabilities: A Review. International Journal of Indian Psychology, Vol. 4, (4), DIP:18.01.013/20170404, DOI:10.25215/0404.013

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 September 2017 22:30

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