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Sustained Attention, Not Procedural Learning, is a Predictor of Reading, Language and Arithmetic Skills in Children

West, G; Shanks, DR; Hulme, C; (2021) Sustained Attention, Not Procedural Learning, is a Predictor of Reading, Language and Arithmetic Skills in Children. Scientific Studies of Reading , 25 (1) pp. 47-63. 10.1080/10888438.2020.1750618. Green open access

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Abstract

The procedural deficit hypothesis claims that impaired procedural learning is a causal risk factor for developmental dyslexia and developmental language disorder. We investigated the relationships between measures of basic cognitive processes (declarative learning, procedural learning and attention) and measures of attainment (reading, grammar and arithmetic) in a large sample of 7- and 8-year-old children. A latent variable path model showed that verbal declarative memory skills predicted attainment but were not significantly related to attention. Procedural learning was only weakly related to measures of attainment and attention assessed during the procedural learning task accounted entirely for its relationship with measures of attainment. Our results challenge the procedural deficit hypothesis of reading and language disorders, but suggest that attentional skills (rather than procedural learning ability per se) may be an important predictor of reading, arithmetic and grammatical skills.

Type: Article
Title: Sustained Attention, Not Procedural Learning, is a Predictor of Reading, Language and Arithmetic Skills in Children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2020.1750618
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2020.1750618
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098264
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