Development of navigational working memory: Evidence from 6- to 10-year-old children

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The ability to learn complex environments may require the contribution of different types of working memory. Therefore, we investigated the development of different types of working memory (navigational, reaching, and verbal) in 129 typically developing children. We aimed to determine whether navigational working memory develops at the same rate as other types of working memory and whether the gender differences reported in adults are already present during development. We found that navigational working memory is less developed than both verbal and reaching working memory and that gender predicts performance only for navigational working memory. Our results are in line with reports that children made significantly more errors in far space than adults, showing that near space representation develops before far space representation.

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