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December 10 , 2007

Cognitive Development and Working Memory

A Dialogue between Neo-Piagetian Theories and Cognitive Approaches


The intellectual development of human beings from birth to adulthood is a fascinating phenomenon. Understanding the constraints that limit children’s intelligence, as well as discovering methods to improve it, has always been a challenging undertaking for developmental psychologists. This book presents a unique attempt to address these issues by establishing a dialogue between neo-Piagetian theorists and researchers specialized in typical and atypical working memory development.

The book integrates recent advances in studies of working memory development with theories proposed by the most prominent neo-Piagetian researchers who have emphasized the role of cognitive resources and working memory capacity in the development of thinking and reasoning. In the opening section, the main proponents of this tradition develop their theories of cognitive development in terms of available mental attention, processing efficiency and speed, inhibition and relational complexity. The second part of the book addresses the mechanisms that underpin the increase in working memory capacity and the respective roles of processing efficiency, storage capacity, and the use of reactivation processes of memory traces such as rehearsal. Finally, the central role played by working memory in atypical development and learning difficulties is examined.

This book provides psychologists, students and researchers who are interested in child development with an integrated and up-to-date series of chapters written by prominent specialists in the areas of working memory, attention, and cognitive development.

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