Dyslexia can have an impact on short-term and working memory.

  1. Phonological short-term memory: Individuals with dyslexia often have difficulties with phonological short-term memory, which involves the temporary storage of speech sounds. This can lead to problems with reading, spelling, and language comprehension (Gathercole et al., 2006).
  2. Verbal working memory: Dyslexia can also affect verbal working memory, which is the ability to hold and manipulate verbal information in the mind. Studies have shown that individuals with dyslexia may have deficits in verbal working memory tasks, such as remembering a sequence of words or numbers (Smith-Spark & Fisk, 2007).
  3. Visuospatial working memory: Some research suggests that individuals with dyslexia may have strengths in visuospatial working memory, which involves the temporary storage and manipulation of visual and spatial information (Bacon & Handley, 2014). However, the evidence is mixed, and more research is needed to understand this relationship.
  4. Executive functions: Dyslexia may also be associated with difficulties in executive functions, such as attention, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. These skills are closely related to working memory and can impact academic performance (Booth et al., 2010).


  • Gathercole, S. E., Alloway, T. P., Willis, C., & Adams, A. M. (2006). Working memory in children with reading disabilities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 93(3), 265-281.
  • Smith-Spark, J. H., & Fisk, J. E. (2007). Working memory functioning in developmental dyslexia. Memory, 15(1), 34-56.
  • Bacon, A. M., & Handley, S. J. (2014). Reasoning and dyslexia: Is visual memory a compensatory resource? Dyslexia, 20(4), 330-345.
  • Booth, J. N., Boyle, J. M., & Kelly, S. W. (2010). Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function: Findings from a meta-analysis. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28(1), 133-176.

Dyslexia can affect various aspects of short-term and working memory, particularly in the domains of phonological and verbal processing. However, the relationship between dyslexia and memory is complex, and individuals with dyslexia may show strengths in certain areas, such as visuospatial working memory. Understanding the memory profiles of individuals with dyslexia can help inform targeted interventions and support strategies.