Evelin Witruk

Germany, University of Leipzig,
Title : Working memory in Cantonese and German speaking dyslexic children


The performance of visual and auditory working memory together with different automated Central Executive functions were investigated on the basis of four computerized, adaptive task sets with measurement of accuracy and reaction time. 86 children selected from 192 dyslexic and non-dyslexic children (mean age = 10.29 years) in Hong Kong and Leipzig were matched on intelligence by using the Culture Fair test (CFT 20) and age. The used reading and writing tests were language specific but scientific similar. Four task sets with visual material (dot and line patterns) and auditory material (tone sequences) were adapted and randomly presented by a computer. Mean and maximum accuracy and speed parameters were measured. The hypotheses of dyslexia deficits and Chinese superiority in working memory performance on nonverbal material were examined. The Cantonese speaking children were found to have a working memory advantage in the speed measure on all four task sets with visual and auditory stimulus presentation, and in the accuracy measure on the auditory tasks only. Dyslexia deficits were only shown in the Chinese sample for the maximum performance parameters and one auditory task set. In the German sample, the dyslexia deficits were found to be more generalized in the auditory matching and reproduction task sets concerning mean and maximum accuracy and speed parameters. The novel approach in this study concerns the new paradigm of adaptive, time efficient testing of working memory functions with nonverbal, auditory and visual material


Evelin Witruk studied Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. She made the first and the second doctoral degree at the University of Leipzig and was Assistant Professor here. She was active as Psychotherapist in a hospital and get a call as Lecturer for Psychology at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. Later Misses Witruk get the call as a Professor for Educational and Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Leipzig. From this time she was the Director of the Educational and Rehabilitation Psychology department at the Institute of Psychology of the University of Leipzig. She published more than 150 international and national publications in scientific journals and books, editions of 16 books and a book series.