Spatial working memory deficits in children at ages 3-4 who were low birth weight, preterm infants

Neuropsychology. 2004 Oct;18(4):673-8. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.18.4.673.


The aim of this study was to investigate attention and perceptual and spatial working memory abilities in preterm, low birth weight preschool children without evident brain disorders as determined by normal cerebral ultrasound findings and normal motor development. The authors evaluated 19 preterm and 19 typically developing children who were matched for IQ and chronological age. Results indicated that children born prematurely without major neurological deficits and with a normal cognitive level may have specific difficulty in sustained attention, visuospatial processing, and spatial working memory when evaluated at ages 3-4. This finding is relevant for understanding the qualitative aspects of cognitive development in preterm children and the neurobiological substrate underlying this development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*