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Low discriminative power of WISC cognitive profile in developmental dyscalculia

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posted on 2023-03-21, 09:25 authored by Maristella Lunardon, Gisella Decarli, Francesco SellaFrancesco Sella, Silvia Lanfranchi, Silvia Gerola, Giuseppe Cossu, Marco Zorzi

Background: The role of domain-general cognitive abilities in the etiology of Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is a hotly debated issue.

Aims: In the present study, we tested whether WISC-IV cognitive profiles can be useful to single out DD.

Methods and procedures: Using a stringent 2-SD cutoff in a standardized numeracy battery, we identified children with DD (N = 43) within a clinical sample referred for assessment of learning disability and compared them in terms of WISC cognitive indexes to the remaining children without DD (N = 100) employing cross-validated logistic regression.

Outcomes and results: Both groups showed higher Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning than Working Memory and Processing Speed, and DD scores were generally lower. Predictive accuracy of WISC indexes in identifying DD individuals was low (AUC = 0.67) and it dropped to chance level in discriminating DD from selected controls (N = 43) with average math performance but matched on global IQ. The inclusion of a visuospatial memory score as an additional predictor did not improve classification accuracy.

Conclusions and implications: These results demonstrate that cognitive profiles do not reliably discriminate DD from non-DD children, thereby weakening the appeal of domain-general accounts.

Funding

Cariparo Foundation (Italy) through Excellence Grant "NUMSENSE"

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Research in Developmental Disabilities

Volume

136

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Research in Developmental Disabilities and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2023.104478

Acceptance date

2023-03-08

Publication date

2023-03-16

Copyright date

2023

ISSN

0891-4222

eISSN

1873-3379

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Francesco Sella. Deposit date: 20 March 2023

Article number

104478

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