Influência da memória de trabalho na aquisição de competências matemáticas em crianças com epilepsia de ausências

  • Filipa Santos Maia Merino (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Purpose: Mathematical ability is essential for modern world survival. From paying bills to counting calories, every day we are faced with situations that require mathematical skills. The acquisition of mathematical skills is affected by several factors, whether cognitive, social or relational. A major cognitive factor influencing learning, particularly mathematics, is working memory (WM). It is known that WM is impaired in childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), and that these children tend to experience difficulties in mathematics. This study aims to determine whether children with CAE do, in fact, have difficulties in WM and to understand the impact of these deficits on mental calculation and in accessing arithmetic facts and procedures.Participants and Method: We evaluated 14 children with CAE and 14 healthy controls. Children with CAE performed the Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices parallel form, the WISC-III arithmetic and digit memory subtests, the BANC Corsi and Tower subtests and TEMA-3. Primary caregivers of both groups were asked to complete an executive function questionnaire (BRIEF-2) about their children.Results: Subjects with CAE demonstrated weaker executive skills than healthy controls. Furthermore, WM predicted mathematical performance of children with CAE,both in accessing arithmetic facts and procedures and in mental calculation.Conclusion: WM affects mathematical skills of children with CAE. Children with CAE showed poorer WM skills than typically developed children. Finally, children with CAE exhibited poorer executive skills than healthy controls.
Date of Award26 Nov 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorFilipa Ribeiro (Supervisor) & Ana Filipa Lopes (Co-Supervisor)


  • Childhood absence epilepsy
  • Mathematic performance
  • Mathematical skills
  • Working memory


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

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