Spectrum of Mathematical Weaknesses: Related Neuropsychological Correlates

Robert Perna, Ashlee R. Loughan, Jessica Le, Jeremy Hertza, Morris J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Math disorders have been recognized for as long as language disorders yet have received far less research. Mathematics is a complex construct and its development may be dependent on multiple cognitive abilities. Several studies have shown that short-term memory, working memory, visuospatial skills, processing speed, and various language skills relate to and may facilitate math development and performance. The hypotheses explored in this research were that children who performed worse on math achievement than on Full-Scale IQ would exhibit weaknesses in executive functions, memory, and visuoperceptual skills. Participants included 436 children (27% girls, 73% boys; age range = 5–17 years, Mage = 9.45 years) who were referred for neuropsychological evaluations due to academic and/or behavioral problems. This article specifically focuses on the spectrum of math weakness rather than clinical disability, which has yet to be investigated in the literature. Results suggest that children with relative weakness to impairments in math were significantly more likely to have cognitive weaknesses to impairments on neuropsychological variables, as compared with children without math weaknesses. Specifically, the math-weak children exhibit a weakness to impairment on measures involving attention, language, visuoperceptual skills, memory, reading, and spelling. Overall, our results suggest that math development is multifaceted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Child
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • mathematics
  • neuropsychology
  • pediatrics
  • weakness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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