Cognitive processes underlying arithmetical skills in primary school: the role of fluency, handwriting, number line and number acuity, Neuropsy Trends, (23).
The aim of the present study is to determine the presence of specific and independent core processes involved in arithmetical skills. We evaluated performances of 68 typically developing school children (8-11 yrs) on numerosity acuity, number line, handwriting (non-math writing skills), phonemic and design fluency as well as math abilities. A principal component analysis on math subtests scores revealed three main factors: Numeracy, Magnitude and Handwriting. Correlations showed that phonemic fluency was associated with the Numeracy factor and the Magnitude factor while design fluency with the Handwriting factor. Number acuity was associated with the Magnitude factor, number line with the Numeracy factor, handwriting with the Handwriting factor. Hierarchical regressions analyses indicated that number acuity, number line, phonemic fluency and handwriting explained unique variance portions on Math test (factors scores). Our study suggests an explanation of the cognitive architecture of processes involved in arithmetical skills in school children.