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The present study was designed to investigate: 1. age-related changes in cognitive performance and 2. the emergence of sex differences in cognitive performance. Two hundred and fifty children aged 9 to 12 years completed a battery of six cognitive tasks including two sets of abilities: the verbal cognitive battery included verbal fluency and short-term memory tasks; the visuospatial battery included mental rotation, localization, and form completion tasks. Results showed age-related improvement in all cognitive tasks except in serial sounds, with apparent variability in the magnitude of improvement across tasks. Furthermore, girls outperform boys in verbal fluency and in serial digits across age groups; no significant differences were found in visuospatial abilities. Findings are discussed for the biological as well as environmental sources for the developmental patterns of age-related improvement in cognitive performance as well as with regard to the emergence of sex differences in cognitive performance, and the potential role of intervention programs bridging the sex gap in visuospatial abilities.