Visuospatial pathways to mathematical achievement

Wai Lan Winnie CHAN, Terry Tin-Yau WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Children having better visuospatial working memory, or the capacity to store and manipulate visuospatial information, perform better in mathematics. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we proposed a pathway model which linked up visuospatial working memory and mathematical achievement through two routes: numerical magnitude representation and problem representation. The data were drawn from 541 children who were assessed in both Grades 1 and 2. Using path analysis, we found that the association between visuospatial working memory and mathematical achievement was mediated by the deployment of visuospatial processes for magnitude representation (magnitude representation pathway) as well as for problem representation in solving mathematical problems (problem representation pathway). Such findings offer an important framework for developing intervention strategies to help children with poor visuospatial working memory in learning mathematics. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
JournalLearning and Instruction
Early online dateMar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


Chan, W. W. L., & Wong, T. T.-Y. (2019). Visuospatial pathways to mathematical achievement. Learning and Instruction, 62, 11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.03.001


  • Visuospatial working memory
  • Mathematical achievement
  • Numerical magnitude representation
  • Problem representation


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