|||DOES LEARNING TO READ SHAPE VERBAL WORKING MEMORY?||Régine Kolinsky||ULB||2015 09||
Demoulin, C., & Kolinsky, R. (2016, in press). Does learning to read shape verbal working memory? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review . DOI 10.3758/s13423-015-0956-7. Many experimental studies have investigated the relationship between the acquisition of reading and working memory in a unidirectional way, attempting to determine to what extent individual differences in working memory can predict reading achievement. In contrast, very little attention has been dedicated to the converse possibility that learning to read shapes the development of verbal memory processes. In this paper, we present available evidence that advocates a more prominent role for reading acquisition on verbal working memory and then discuss the potential mechanisms of such literacy effects. First, the early decoding activities might bolster the development of subvocal rehearsal, which, in turn, would enhance serial order performance in immediate memory tasks. In addition, learning to read and write in an alphabetical system allows the emergence of phonemic awareness and finely tuned phonological representations, as well as of orthographic representations. This could improve the quality, strength, and precision of lexical representations, and hence offer better support for the temporary encoding of memory items and/or for their retrieval.