Executive functions and achievements on national curriculum tests: Shifting, updating, inhibition, and working memory

Research title: Executive functions and achievements on national curriculum tests: Shifting, updating, inhibition, and working memory

Researchers: Helen L. St Clair-Thompson and Susan E. Gathercole

Published: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

This study investigated the relationship between executive functions and working memory and the role they both play, either together or separate, in learning. Various assessments measuring the functions shifting, updating, and inhibition, as well as verbal and visuo-spatial working memory were assessed in 11- and 12-year-old children and compared to their scores on national curriculum tests in the UK.

Results showed how working memory influences executive functions and demonstrates the importance of both in educational achievement.