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Self-ordered pointing as a test of working memory in typically developing children

Cragg, Lucy; Nation, Kate


Associate Professor

Kate Nation


The self-ordered pointing test (SOPT; Petrides & Milner, 1982) is a test of non-spatial executive working
memory requiring the ability to generate and monitor a sequence of responses. Although used with
developmental clinical populations there are few normative data against which to compare atypical
performance. Typically developing children (5!11 years) and young adults performed two versions of the
SOPT, one using pictures of familiar objects and the other hard-to-verbalise abstract designs.
Performance improved with age but the children did not reach adult levels of performance. Participants
of all ages found the object condition easier than the abstract condition, suggesting that verbal processes
are utilised by the SOPT. However, performance on the task was largely independent from verbal and
nonverbal cognitive ability. Overall the results suggest that the SOPT is a sensitive measure of executive working memory.


Cragg, L., & Nation, K. (2007). Self-ordered pointing as a test of working memory in typically developing children. Memory, 15(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2007
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2009
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2009
Journal Memory
Print ISSN 0965-8211
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 5
Public URL
Publisher URL


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