ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (9): 1576-1589.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01576

• Meta-Analysis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enhancing mathematical abilities: A meta-analysis on the effect of working memory training

GUO Liyue, YAN Chao*(), DENG Ciping**()   

  1. School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2017-07-10 Online:2018-09-15 Published:2018-07-30
  • Contact: Chao YAN,Ciping DENG;


Working memory training can effectively improve individual’s cognitive performance. In last decades, accumulating studies examined the transfer effects of working memory training on the mathematical abilities. However, findings from these studies render inconsistent depending on the measure of mathematical abilities, types of working memory training, and participants. In this meta-analysis, we thus reviewed two types of trainings strategies-uni-dimensional and multi-dimensional trainings - and their effects on the enhancement of mathematical skills, including number sense, arithmetic and mathematics reasoning. Results showed that working memory training significantly improved number sense with a medium effect size (Cohen’s d = 0.51), rather than arithmetic (Cohen’s d = 0.04) and mathematics reasoning (Cohen’s d = -0.06). Furthermore, the types of working memory training significantly moderated the transfer effects of working memory training on mathematical performance.

Key words: working memory training, mathematical ability, number sense, arithmetic, mathematical reasoning

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