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Identifying training modalities to improve multitasking in older adults.

Bier B, de Boysson C, Belleville S - Age (Dordr) (2014)

Bottom Line: Studies that have measured the effects of attentional training have relied on a range of training formats, which may vary in their efficacy.In particular, it is unclear whether programs that practice dual-tasking are more effective in improving divided attention than programs focusing on flexible allocation priority training.Overall, the study supports the notion that attentional control capacities in older adults are plastic and can be improved with appropriate training and that the type of training determines its impact on divided attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Centre, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4565 Chemin Queen-Mary, Montreal, Québec, H3W 1W5, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Studies that have measured the effects of attentional training have relied on a range of training formats, which may vary in their efficacy. In particular, it is unclear whether programs that practice dual-tasking are more effective in improving divided attention than programs focusing on flexible allocation priority training. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to compare the efficacy of different types of attentional training formats and (2) to assess transfer to distal measures. Forty-two healthy older adults were randomly assigned to one of three training groups. In the SINGLE training condition, participants practiced a visual detection and an alphanumeric equation task in isolation. In the FIXED training condition, participants practiced both tasks simultaneously with equal attention allocated to each. In the VARIABLE training condition, participants varied the attentional priority allocated to each task. After training, all participants improved their performance on the alphanumeric equation task when performed individually, including those in the SINGLE training condition. Participants in the FIXED training condition improved their divided attention, but only the participants in the VARIABLE training condition showed a greater capacity to vary their attentional priorities according to the instructions. Regarding transfer, all groups improved their performance on the 2-back condition, but only the VARIABLE and FIXED conditions resulted in better performance on the 1-back condition. Overall, the study supports the notion that attentional control capacities in older adults are plastic and can be improved with appropriate training and that the type of training determines its impact on divided attention.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Divided attention cost for each task as a function of emphasis instruction (20 % Equation, 50 % Equation, and 80 % Equation) in pre-intervention (error bars represent standard error)
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Fig1: Divided attention cost for each task as a function of emphasis instruction (20 % Equation, 50 % Equation, and 80 % Equation) in pre-intervention (error bars represent standard error)

Mentions: To assess whether there were group differences prior to training in spite of the randomization, divided attention cost during the pre-training session was first analyzed. The divided attention cost scores for each task as a function of emphasis instructions are displayed in Fig. 1. We performed a mixed ANOVA using divided attention cost as a dependent variable, emphasis (80 % Equation, 50 % Equation, or 20 % Equation) and task (alphanumeric equation; visual detection) as within-subject factors, and group (SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE) as a between-subject factor.Fig. 1


Identifying training modalities to improve multitasking in older adults.

Bier B, de Boysson C, Belleville S - Age (Dordr) (2014)

Divided attention cost for each task as a function of emphasis instruction (20 % Equation, 50 % Equation, and 80 % Equation) in pre-intervention (error bars represent standard error)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4150891&req=5

Fig1: Divided attention cost for each task as a function of emphasis instruction (20 % Equation, 50 % Equation, and 80 % Equation) in pre-intervention (error bars represent standard error)
Mentions: To assess whether there were group differences prior to training in spite of the randomization, divided attention cost during the pre-training session was first analyzed. The divided attention cost scores for each task as a function of emphasis instructions are displayed in Fig. 1. We performed a mixed ANOVA using divided attention cost as a dependent variable, emphasis (80 % Equation, 50 % Equation, or 20 % Equation) and task (alphanumeric equation; visual detection) as within-subject factors, and group (SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE) as a between-subject factor.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Studies that have measured the effects of attentional training have relied on a range of training formats, which may vary in their efficacy.In particular, it is unclear whether programs that practice dual-tasking are more effective in improving divided attention than programs focusing on flexible allocation priority training.Overall, the study supports the notion that attentional control capacities in older adults are plastic and can be improved with appropriate training and that the type of training determines its impact on divided attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Centre, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4565 Chemin Queen-Mary, Montreal, Québec, H3W 1W5, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Studies that have measured the effects of attentional training have relied on a range of training formats, which may vary in their efficacy. In particular, it is unclear whether programs that practice dual-tasking are more effective in improving divided attention than programs focusing on flexible allocation priority training. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to compare the efficacy of different types of attentional training formats and (2) to assess transfer to distal measures. Forty-two healthy older adults were randomly assigned to one of three training groups. In the SINGLE training condition, participants practiced a visual detection and an alphanumeric equation task in isolation. In the FIXED training condition, participants practiced both tasks simultaneously with equal attention allocated to each. In the VARIABLE training condition, participants varied the attentional priority allocated to each task. After training, all participants improved their performance on the alphanumeric equation task when performed individually, including those in the SINGLE training condition. Participants in the FIXED training condition improved their divided attention, but only the participants in the VARIABLE training condition showed a greater capacity to vary their attentional priorities according to the instructions. Regarding transfer, all groups improved their performance on the 2-back condition, but only the VARIABLE and FIXED conditions resulted in better performance on the 1-back condition. Overall, the study supports the notion that attentional control capacities in older adults are plastic and can be improved with appropriate training and that the type of training determines its impact on divided attention.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus