Working memory in Down syndrome: is there a dual task deficit?

S Lanfranchi, Alan Baddeley, S Gathercole, R Vianello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Recent studies have shown that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) are poorer than controls in performing verbal and visuospatial dual tasks. The present study aims at better investigating the dual task deficit in working memory in individuals with DS. Method Forty-five individuals with DS and 45 typically developing children matched for verbal mental age completed a series of verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks, involving conditions that either required the combination of two tasks in the same modality (verbal or visual) or of cross-modality pairs of tasks. Results and conclusions Two distinct deficits were found in individuals with DS: impairment in verbal tasks and further impairment in all dual task conditions. The results confirm the hypothesis of a central executive impairment in individuals with DS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of intellectual disability research : JIDR
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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