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Numerical matching judgments in children with mathematical learning disabilities. (English)
Res. Dev. Disabil. 34, No. 10, 3182-3189 (2013).
Summary: Both deficits in the innate magnitude representation (i.e. representation deficit hypothesis) and deficits in accessing the magnitude representation from symbols (i.e. access deficit hypotheses) have been proposed to explain mathematical learning disabilities (MLD). Evidence for these hypotheses has mainly been accumulated through the use of numerical magnitude comparison tasks. It has been argued that the comparison distance effect might reflect decision processes on activated magnitude representations rather than number processing per se. One way to avoid such decisional processes confounding the numerical distance effect is by using a numerical matching task, in which children have to indicate whether two dot-arrays or a dot-array and a digit are numerically the same or different. Against this background, we used a numerical matching task to examined the representation deficit and access deficit hypotheses in a group children with MLD and controls matched on age, gender and IQ. The results revealed that children with MLD were slower than controls on the mixed notation trials, whereas no difference was found for the non-symbolic trials. This might be in line with the access deficit hypothesis, showing that children with MLD have difficulties in linking a symbol with its quantity representation. However, further investigation is required to exclude the possibility that children with MLD have a deficit in integrating the information from different input notations.
Classification: F22 F23 C42 C43 C32 C33
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