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Table 2 Studies Examining STM Skills in Individuals with DS Organized by Age Group and Presented Chronologically

From: Memory profiles in Down syndrome across development: a review of memory abilities through the lifespan

Study Comparison Group Matching Assessment CA of DS Group (Yrs) MA of DS Group Tasks Findings
Valencia-Naranjo 2017 [83] CA & MA-matched FXS K-BIT M=4.29 -- Verbal and Visual STM 1
Story Recall
Object Recall
DS< FXS
DS< FXS
School Age and Adolescent Studies (6 to 17 years old)
Study Comparison Group Matching Assessment CA of DS Group (Yrs) MA of DS Group Tasks Findings
Dodd 1975 [166] ID -- M=9.1 -- Verbal STM
Real & Nonsense Word Discrimination
(0, 15, and 30 second delays)
DS>ID - Recognition on 0 and 30 sec delay; DS<ID Recall on 15 and 30 sec delay
McDade 1980 [167] CA-matched TD
MA-matched TD
SB M~10 Range=
3.5 – 5.5
Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
Verbal Recognition Test (forced choice recognition on a word recall task)
DS < TD-MA < TD-CA
DS < TD-CA; DS ~ TD-MA
Strattford 1982 [168] TD & ID SB & PPVT M=10.6
(SD=3.92)
M=4.9 Visual STM
Immediate design reproduction
DS < TD; DS~ID
Snart 1982 [169] ID group &
IQ-matched TBI
SB
WISC-R
M=16.3
DS & control
(Range = 9-22)
-- Verbal STM
Auditory Serial Recall
DS< ID and TBI on successive auditory recall factor score
Marcell 1988 [170] VMA-matched TD
ID group
PPVT M=16.75 M=4.89 Verbal STM
Digit Span –
Auditory Freefield (traditional)
Auditory presentation with headphones
Auditory presentation with participants
wearing goggles (to reduce distraction)
Visual/Verbal STM
Digits presented visually, recalled orally
DS< TD-MA, ID
DS< TD-MA, ID
DS< TD-MA, ID
DS~ TD-MA, ID
Bower 1994 [88] IQ and CA matched ID -- Range=5-18 M=4.6 Verbal STM
Digit Recall
Sentence Recall
DS < ID
DS < ID
Kay-Raining 1994 [171] MA-matched TD SB M=14   Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
DS < TD-MA
Wang 1994 [89] IQ & CA matched WS group WISC-R M=15.4 -- Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span
Corsi Block Recall
DS < WS
DS > WS
Cornish 1999 [95] CA-matched TD,
MA-matched TD, FXS
-- M=10.82 (SD=1.89) M=5.10 (SD=1.21) Visual STM
K-ABC Spatial Memory Task
DS < FXS, TD-CA& TD-MA
Munir 2000 [58] MA-matched TD, CA-matched TD and FXS BPVS M= 11.17 (2.49) M=6.09 Verbal & Visual STM
Children’s Nonword Repetition Task
WISC-III Forward Digit Span
Kaufman Spatial Location Recall
DS >FXS; DS ~ TD-MA & TD-CA
DS ~ FXS; DS <TD-MA & TD-CA
DS > FXS; DS < TD MA & TD-CA
Seung 2000 [26] NVMA-matched TD
MLU controls
SB NV subtests for NVMA TD group M=16.4
(Range=9-24)
M=5.58 Verbal STM
ITPA Forward Digit Span Length
DS < TD-NVMA
DS ~ MLU
Kanno 2002 [172] TD (with similar MA) -- M=16.10
(SD=1.64)
M=6.02 Verbal STM
Serial Recall of words
DS < TD-MA
Jarrold 2002 [49] ID group
VMA-matched TD
BPVS M=14.28
(Range=8-17)
M=5.09 Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span Recall +/- visual support
Corsi Span Recall
DS < Combined ID & TD-VMA comparison group
DS ~ Combined ID & TD-VMA comparison group
Laws 2002 [147] VMA-matched TD BPVS-II M=11.1 (Range=7-17) M=4.0 Verbal, Visual, & Spatial STM
Digit Span Recall
Corsi Span Recall
Color Memory
DS < TD-VMA
DS > TD-VMA
DS< TD-VMA on focal colors
DS ~ TD-VMA on non-focal colors
Byrne 2002 [60] Reading Matched TD
Average readers TD
BAS Word Reading M=8 M=6.3 Verbal & Visual STM
BAS Digit Recall
BAS Immediate Visual Recall
DS < TD-RM < TD-AR
DS < TD-RM & TD-AR
Eadie 2002 [127] SLI group
TD group
matched on MLU
-- M=7.2 -- Verbal STM
Sentence repetition
DS < TD-MLU; DS ~ SLI
Pennington 2003 [9] MA-matched TD DAS M=14
(Range=11-19)
M=4.5 Verbal STM
Digit Recall
DS <TD-MA
Vicari 2004 [96] MA-matched TD; MA & CA matched WS SB M=13.4
(SD=4.4)
M=5.2 Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Forward Span Test
Spatial Forward Span Test
DS < WS; DS < TD-MA
DS ~ WS; DS < TD-MA
Lanfranchi 2004 Study 1 [115] MA-matched TD Logical Operations Test M=11.75
(Range = 7-16)
M=5.42 Verbal STM
Word Span Recall
DS < TD-MA
Lanfranchi 2004 Study 2 [115] MA-matched TD Logical Operations Test M=14.5
(Range= 11-18)
M=4.5 Visual STM
Memory for Positions
Pathway Forwards (recall of sequenced moves)
DS ~ TD-MA
DS ~ TD-MA
Seung 2004 [174] MA-matched TD, MLU -- M=17.1
(SD=4.4)
M=5.8 Verbal STM
SB Sentence memory subtest
DS < TD MA
DS ~ MLU
Fidler 2005 [173] NV IQ-matched ID K-BIT M=13.25
(Range=7-21)
--- Verbal STM
Number Sequential Recall
DS<ID
Brock 2005 [175] TD group
Groups similar on BPVS, though not explicitly matched
-- M=17.6
(Range=8-25)
M=7.1 Verbal STM
Digit Span recall
Digit Reconstruction recall (pointing to numbers)
DS<TD
DS<TD
Cairns 2005 [176] VMA-matched TD BPVS M=15.43
(Range=12-19)
M=5.16 Verbal STM
Word & Nonword Repetition
Digit Span Recall
DS<TD-VMA
DS<TD-VMA
Hick 2005 [177] NVMA-matched SLI
NVMA-matched TD
Leiter M=9.75 M=4.5 Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span Recall
Word Span Recall
Pattern Recall
DS < TD-NVMA, DS ~SLI
DS < TD-NVMA, DS ~ SLI
DS~SLI~TD-NVMA
Verbal STM Tasks – SLI made progress over time that was not seen in DS
Vicari 2006 [178] MA-matched TD SB M=15.83
(SD=5.66)
M=5.16 Visual & Spatial STM
Spatial Location Span
Visual Span
DS < TD-MA
DS < TD-MA
Visu-Petra 2007 [120] MA-matched TD SB M=14
(R=8-21)
M=5.75 Spatial STM
CANTAB Spatial Span Task
DS ~ TD-MA (TD-MA> DS trend)
Keller-Bell 2007 [179] NVMA-matched TD Columbia Mental Maturity Scale M=9.40
(Range=5-12)
M=4.65 Verbal STM
Nonword Repetition task
DS < TD-NVMA
Lanfranchi, 2009 [142] MA-matched TD PPVT-Revised and RCM M=12.5
(Range=7-17)
M=6.0 Visual STM
Pathway Recall
Positions Recall
DS ~ TD-MA
DS < TD-MA
Frenkel 2009 [87] MA-matched TD K-ABC M=12
(Range=6-17)
M=5.01 Verbal, & Spatial STM
Auditory Word Span Task
Visual Patterns Task
Corsi Block Recall Task
DS < TD-MA
DS < TD-MA
DS ~ TD-MA
Kogan 2009 [97] FXS group
VMA-matched TD
CA-matched TD
PPVT- III M=17.16
(Range=11-36)
M=6.35 Visual & Spatial STM
Delayed-non-matching-to-sample
Delayed-non-matching-to-position (spatial)
DS~FXS~TD-VMA
DS ~ FXS; DS < TD-CA
Cardoso-Martins 2009 [180] MA-matched TD DAS M=14.48 -- Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span
Corsi Blocks Recall
DS< TD-MA
DS~TD-MA
Lanfranchi 2009 [117] VMA matched TD
Verbal matched TD
PPVT-R
and WPPSI Verbal
M=13.1
(Range=8-19)
M=4.11 Verbal & Spatial STM
Word Span
Path Recall
DS< TD-VMA & TD-verbal matched
DS~TD-VMA & TD-verbal matched
Abdelhameed 2010 [181] MA-matched TD SB-4 M=9.94
(Range=7-13)
M=3.94 Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
Nonword Repetition
DS < TD-MA
DS < TD-MA on all syllable lengths
Carretti 2010 [182] MA-matched TD PPVT M=7.6
(SD=2.2)
M=5.2 Visual STM
Spatial Recall – Structured Pattern
Spatial Recall – Random Pattern
DS < TD-MA
DS < TD-MA
Edgin 2010 [25] IQ matched WS group WASI M=17.8
(Range=13-23)
-- Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span Recall
Corsi Block Recall
DS<WS
DS > WS
Duarte 2011 [183] MA-matched TD
VMA-TD
PPVT M=12.5
(Range=7-18)
M=4.0 Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span Recall
Corsi Span Task
DS < TD-MA & TD-VMA
DS < TD-MA; DS ~TD-VMA
Also manipulated input & output (verbal vs. visual) of information to be recalled in novel tasks & added spatial support to a visual task. Reported that DS group showed similar performance in pure verbal and verbal-visual tasks. DS group did perform better on visual task with additional spatial support.
Costanzo 2013 [90] WS group
NVMA-matched TD
Leiter-Revised or SB
(1 child matched with SB, all others matched on Leiter-R)
M=14.5
(Range=8-21)
M=6.2 Verbal & Spatial STM
Digit Span Recall
Nonword Repetition
Corsi Span Task
DS < WS & TD-NVMA
DS < WS & TD- NVMA
DS & WS < TD- NVMA; DS ~ WS
Carney 2013 [92] WS group
TD participants with similar MA
SB Abbreviated Battery M=14.5
(Range=10-21)
M=6.0 Verbal & Spatial STM
Word List Recall
Block Recall
DS~WS~TD
DS ~ TD; DS & TD> WS
DS Group– Visuospatial > Verbal
Carretti 2013 [94] VMA-matched TD PPVT-Revised M=14.17
(Range=9-17)
M=5.17 Spatial STM
Spatial-Sequential Test
Spatial-Simultaneous Test
DS ~ TD-VMA
DS < TD-VMA
Lanfranchi 2014 [93] MA-matched TD Logical Operations Test M=15.66
(SD=3.08)
M=5.75 Visual STM
Picture Span Recall
DS < TD-MA
Naess 2015 [85] NVMA-matched
TD
WPPSI Block Design M=6.32
(Range=5-6)
-- Verbal STM
Sentence Memory
Nonword Repetition
DS < TD-NVMA
DS < TD- NVMA
Lanfranchi 2015 [184] MA-matched TD PPVT-Revised
RCM
M=14.17
(Range=9-17)
M=5.17 Spatial STM
Patterned Spatial Recall
Random Spatial Recall
DS < TD-MA
DS ~ TD-MA
Loveall 2016 [185] TD & ID with similar NVMA
(measured with the Leiter-R)
  M=14.91 M=5.35 Verbal STM
Nonword repetition
DS < TD-NVMA & ID group
Danielsson 2016 [91] MA-matched WS
MA-matched TD
SB-abbrev. M=14.6
(Range=10-21)
M=5.9 Verbal & Spatial STM
Word List Recall
Block Recall
DS ~WS; DS & WS < TD-MA
DS >WS; DS ~ TD-MA
Heimann 2016 [61] TD
Language matched ASD
-- M=5.25
(SD=1.03)
M=2.63 Visual STM
Immediate Elicited Imitation
DS > ASD; DS~TD
Adult and Older adult studies (18 years and older)
Study Comparison Group Matching Assessment CA of DS Group (Yrs) MA of DS Group Tasks Findings
Dalton 1974 [159] Young & Old ID -- Young M= 20.9 Intermediate M=41.7 -- Verbal STM
Digit Span
Young & Intermediate DS < Old ID
Thase 1984 [186] ID -- M=37.1
(SD=10.4)
-- Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span
Delayed Matching to Sample
DS < ID
DS < ID
Huang 1987 [109] CA & MA matched ID -- M=38.65 -- Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span
Picture recall
DS ~ ID
Adults with DS were more likely to recall a picture in a series of black and white pictures orally if it was in color.
Varnhagen 1987 [64] CA & IQ matched ID group SB M=22.70
(Range=19-25)
M=4.78 Verbal STM
Auditory Span Recall
DS~ID, but DS group had marginally worse lexical access and did not demonstrate acoustic similarity effect seen in ID group
Marcell 1988 [84] ID group
VMA-matched TD
PPVT M=18.12 M=4.98 Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
(with presentation [auditory vs. visual] and recall [oral vs. manual] differences)
DS< TD-VMA; DS~ID on overall performance collapsed across conditions
DS< ID on auditory recall (collapsed across output conditions)
TD-VMA & ID: Auditory > Visual Performance
DS: Auditory ~ Visual Performance
Marcell 1992 [187] IQ-matched ID group SB M=18.84 -- Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
Sentence Recall
DS < ID
DS < ID
Devenny 1992 [161] ID < 35
ID > 35
-- <35 M=31.7
>35 M=41.8
-- Visual STM
Visual Memory Test
>35 DS showed greater decreases in performance at 5 and 10 second delays compared to their performance at 0 second delays than any other participant group
Marcell 1995 [188] CA & IQ matched ID SB M = 18.83 (SD=3.33) -- Verbal STM
Sentence Repetition
Digit Span
DS < ID on number of sentences repeated and number of words recalled across sentences
DS < ID
Devenny 1996 [65] Young DS (CA 30-39)
Middle-Aged DS (CA 40-49)
Older DS (CA 50+)
ID group with similar IQ & Age
Subtests of WISC-R used to estimate IQ Young DS M=37
Middle-Aged DS M=45
Older DS M=55
  Visual LTM
Delayed Match to Sample
Participants tested at 6 time points across 5 years
DS~ID, but DS showed decrements with increased delay
Young ~ Middle-Aged ~ Older DS
*Note: This study focused on a more mildly impacted subgroup of adults with DS
Vicari 2000 [36] MA-matched TD SB M=21 M=6.5 Verbal & Visual STM
Word List Recall
Word Recognition
Picture Recognition
DS<TD-MA
DS<TD-MA
DS<TD-MA
Natsopoulos 2002 [189] VMA-matched TD WPPSI-R Information, Vocabulary & Similarities subtest M=30.6
(Range=19-39)
-- Verbal STM
Sentence Repetition
DS < TD-VMA
Brock 2004 [99] TD group with similar BPVS MA, but not explicitly matched -- M=18.5
(Range=12-25)
M=7.7 Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
Word and Nonword Order & Item Recall Memory
DS < TD
DS < TD
Kittler 2004 [190] IQ-Matched ID WAIS-R or SB M=44.8 M=6.57
(PPVT-R)
Verbal STM
Word List Recall
DS < ID on all lists except phonologically similar words; semantic similarity of words reduced DS performance only
Purser 2005 [107] TD group with similar NVMA -- M=19.78 M=8.02 Verbal & Visual STM
Word List Recall
Picture Location Recall
DS < TD
DS ~ TD
Kittler 2006 [102] IQ and VMA-matched ID group WAIS-R and PPVT M=44.3 M=6.52 Verbal STM
Word List Recall
DS < ID
Kittler 2008 [103] MA- matched WS and ID group -- M=44.7
(SD=7.2)
-- Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span
Word Span
Corsi Span
DS < WS; DS ~ ID
DS < WS & ID
DS > ID and DS>~WS (p=.057)
Jarrold 2009 [191] TD group with similar NVMA -- M=20.82
(Range=14-29)
M=7.33
(PPVT)
Verbal STM
Serial Recall
Serial Recognition
DS < TD
DS < TD
Lee 2010 [98] VMA-matched TD PPVT M=19.18
(Range=11-25)
M=6.95 Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
DS < TD-VMA
Mosse 2011 [192] VMA-matched TD BPVS M=19.5
(Range=9-28)
-- Verbal STM
Immediate serial recall
DS < TD-VMA
Roch 2012 [122] Reading comprehension matched TD (CAM) Standardized test of reading comprehension (administered collectively) M~18.5
(Range=11-26)
-- Verbal STM
Sequential word recall
Sequential word recall with visual presentation
DS < TD-CAM
DS ~ TD-CAM
Michael 2012 [193] VMA-matched TD PPVT-4th Edition M=18.9
(Range=11-32)
-- Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
Word Span Recall
Sentence Memory
Nonverbal Digit Span Recall
Nonverbal Word Span Recall
Nonverbal Spatial Memory
(*Nonverbal tasks involved pointing to answers on page)
DS~TD-VMA
DS~ TD-VMA
DS< TD-VMA
DS~ TD-VMA
DS~ TD-VMA
DS~TD-VMA
Purser 2013 [100] NVMA- matched TD
VMA-matched TD
BPVS- II, RCM M=19.4
(Range=13-26)
M= 7.9
(BPVS-II)
Verbal STM
Word List recognition
DS < TD-NVMA & TD-VMA
Smith 2014 [101] VMA-matched TD BPVS-II M=20
(Range=9-30)
-- Verbal STM
Word Recall
Word Order Recall
DS < TD-VMA
DS < TD-VMA
Belacchi 2014 [108] NVMA and SES matched TD RCM M=18.8
(Range=15-29)
MA~5.5 Verbal & Visual STM
Word Recall
Spatial-simultaneous Recall
DS< TD-NVMA
DS ~ TD-NVMA
Stavroussi 2016 [104] CA & VMA ID group PPVT-R M=33.92
(Range=26-38)
-- Verbal STM
Digit Span Recall
DS ~ ID
Reid 2017 [105] Cornelia de Lange Syndrome group (CdLS) -- M= 24.38
(SD=5.82)
M=6.29 (BPVS) Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span
Corsi Span
DS > CdLS
DS > CdLS
Within DS Group Comparisons of Older Adults
Study Comparison Group Matching Assessment CA of DS Group (Yrs) MA of DS Group Tasks Findings
Haxby 1989 [163] Under 35 DS
35+ DS
(4 with dementia)
-- Under 35 M=26 (Range=19-34)
35+ non-demented M=48 (Range=37-54)
35+ demented M=57 (Range= 47-64)
Under 35 M= 6.1
35+ non-demented M=4.3
35+ demented M=2.5
(SB used to measure MA)
Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span Recall
Block Tapping Span
Object Pointing Span
35+ demented < 35+ nondemented & Under 35
35+ demented < Under 35 on Block Tapping Span & Object Pointing Span
Alexander 1997 [66] Young DS (CA 22-39)
Old DS (CA 40-61) without dementia
-- Young DS M=30.1
Old DS M=47.4
Young DS M=5.7
Old DS M=4.7
(SB used to measure MA)
Verbal & Visual STM
Digit Span Recall
Hidden object Memory Recall
Block Tapping Span
Old DS ~ Young DS
Old DS ~ Young DS
Old DS < Young DS
Crayton 1998 [72] Young DS (CA Under 40)
Middle-Aged DS (CA 40-49)
Older DS (CA 50+)
-- -- M =4.8
(for whole group on BPVS)
Visual STM
Matching to Sample
Young DS ~ Middle-Aged DS ~ Older DS
  1. Key: Comparison Groups: CA chronological-age, DS Down Syndrome, FXS Fragile X Syndrome, ID Intellectual Disability, MA mental-age, MLD Moderate Learning Difficulties, MLU matched language production, NVMA Nonverbal mental-age, SLI Specific Language Impairment, TD typically-developing, VMA Vocabulary (receptive) mental-age, WS William’s Syndrome
  2. Tests: BAS British Ability Scales, BPVS British Picture Vocabulary Scale, CVLT-C California Verbal Learning Testing Children’s Version, DAS Differential Ability Scales, EVPT English Picture Vocabulary Test, ITPA Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities subtest, K-ABC Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, K-BIT Kaufman-Brief Intelligence Test, Leiter Leiter Performance Intelligence Scales, PPVT-R Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised, RCM Raven’s Coloured Matrices, SB Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, WAIS-R Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, WASI Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, WISC-R Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Revised, WPPSI-R Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised
  3. Note: Italicized authors’ names indicate studies included in effect size analyses
  4. 1These tasks were classified as STM by [83]. Details about the methods of this study made it difficult to ascertain if there was a delay that would result in these being classified as LTM according to our system of task classification