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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

Reaction time improvement ratio [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]) for the 1-back and 2-back conditions for SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE training groups expressed in absolute value (error bars represent standard error). p < .05
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Fig3: Reaction time improvement ratio [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]) for the 1-back and 2-back conditions for SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE training groups expressed in absolute value (error bars represent standard error). p < .05

Mentions: Considering the group differences in pre-intervention, an improvement ratio was computed on RT and AC for both conditions of the generalization measure (1-back and 2-back) with the following equation: [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]. This decrement indicates the improvement from pre- to post-training, controlling for the individual’s performance in pre-training. An improvement ratio on AC and RT for the 1-back and 2-back conditions is presented in Fig. 3. Separate ANOVAs were computed on the AC and RT improvement ratio for both 1-back and 2-back conditions, using training group (SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE) as a between-subject factor. The analysis on AC showed no significant effects of group for the 1-back or the 2-back conditions (p = .50 and .19, respectively). When analyzing RT, a main group effect was found for the improvement ratio of the 1-back condition, F(2, 34) = 3.89, p = .031. The improvement ratio was larger in the VARIABLE (M = 12.93) and FIXED (M = 10.53) training group relative to the SINGLE training group (M = 1.42) (p = .02 and .03, respectively). There was no effect of group for the 2-back condition (p = .47).Fig. 3


Identifying training modalities to improve multitasking in older adults.

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

Reaction time improvement ratio [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]) for the 1-back and 2-back conditions for SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE training groups expressed in absolute value (error bars represent standard error). p < .05
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Fig3: Reaction time improvement ratio [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]) for the 1-back and 2-back conditions for SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE training groups expressed in absolute value (error bars represent standard error). p < .05
Mentions: Considering the group differences in pre-intervention, an improvement ratio was computed on RT and AC for both conditions of the generalization measure (1-back and 2-back) with the following equation: [(Post − Pre) / Pre) × 100]. This decrement indicates the improvement from pre- to post-training, controlling for the individual’s performance in pre-training. An improvement ratio on AC and RT for the 1-back and 2-back conditions is presented in Fig. 3. Separate ANOVAs were computed on the AC and RT improvement ratio for both 1-back and 2-back conditions, using training group (SINGLE, FIXED, and VARIABLE) as a between-subject factor. The analysis on AC showed no significant effects of group for the 1-back or the 2-back conditions (p = .50 and .19, respectively). When analyzing RT, a main group effect was found for the improvement ratio of the 1-back condition, F(2, 34) = 3.89, p = .031. The improvement ratio was larger in the VARIABLE (M = 12.93) and FIXED (M = 10.53) training group relative to the SINGLE training group (M = 1.42) (p = .02 and .03, respectively). There was no effect of group for the 2-back condition (p = .47).Fig. 3

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