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## Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia

*versão On-line* ISSN 1808-4281

#### Resumo

CORSO, Luciana Vellinho e DORNELES, Beatriz Vargas. **The processing speed and the arithmetic's learning difficulties**.* Estud. pesqui. psicol.* [online]. 2014, vol.14, n.3, pp. 949-966. ISSN 1808-4281.

Studies in processing speed, one of the cognitive abilities underlying arithmetic learning, have attracted the interest of researchers in mathematics education, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. The literature indicates that a low processing speed is one of the characteristics of students who have learning difficulties in arithmetic. This article presents research results, still not conclusive, linking processing speed to difficulties in arithmetic. It discusses the relationship between processing speed and working memory, another key cognitive skill for learning mathematics, and highlights the complementary perspective between these two functions. Finally, the article relates processing speed and the fluency in arithmetic fact retrieval, and emphasizes the hypothesis that a low processing speed contributes to overload working memory, causing difficulties for retrieving facts from long term memory. The article highlights the need for more research in order to better define the role that processing speed plays in learning arithmetic, and thus, be able to advance in the preventive and corrective intervention processes in this area.

**Palavras-chave
:
**Processing speed; Working memory; Arithmetic difficulties.