Down syndrome and the phonological loop: the evidence for, and importance of, a specific verbal short-term memory deficit

C Jarrold, Alan Baddeley, C Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals with Down syndrome are thought to perform poorly on tests of verbal short-term memory, such as measures of word span or digit span. This review critically examines the evidence for a specific deficit in verbal short-term memory in Down syndrome, and outlines a range of possible explanations for such a deficit. The potential implications of a verbal short-term memory impairment for broader aspects of development are outlined, in particular with respect to vocabulary development. Possible intervention strategies, which might improve verbal short-term memory performance in Down syndrome are also considered. However, we argue that further research is needed to fully clarify the nature of a verbal short-term memory deficit in Down syndrome, before the merits of these various intervention approaches can be properly evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalDown's syndrome, research and practice : the journal of the Sarah Duffen Centre / University of Portsmouth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Articulation Disorders
  • Auditory Perception
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Learning Disorders
  • Memory Disorders
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Models, Neurological
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Speech Disorders
  • Verbal Learning

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