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Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children.

Pugin F, Metz AJ, Stauffer M, Wolf M, Jenni OG, Huber R - F1000Res (2014)

Bottom Line: Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls).Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group.The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, 8032, Switzerland ; Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Zurich, 8057, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily), while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls). The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session).Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session) is shown. Each solid line represents the performance of an individual (N = 14) in the visuospatial n-back (VNB) task training mean n of VNB at the first training session (circle), at the session of maximal performance (triangle) and at the last training session (square). The dashed line represents the average performance at the first session, the session of maximal performance and the performance at the last session. Average maximal performance was reached between session 10 and 11 (mean 10.21 ± SEM 1.22) and average performance at the last session was reached between session 16 and 17 (16.14 ± 1.19). ** indicates: performance at session of maximal performance was significantly higher than performance at the first and the last training session. * indicates: performance at the last session was significantly higher than at the first session.
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f2: Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session).Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session) is shown. Each solid line represents the performance of an individual (N = 14) in the visuospatial n-back (VNB) task training mean n of VNB at the first training session (circle), at the session of maximal performance (triangle) and at the last training session (square). The dashed line represents the average performance at the first session, the session of maximal performance and the performance at the last session. Average maximal performance was reached between session 10 and 11 (mean 10.21 ± SEM 1.22) and average performance at the last session was reached between session 16 and 17 (16.14 ± 1.19). ** indicates: performance at session of maximal performance was significantly higher than performance at the first and the last training session. * indicates: performance at the last session was significantly higher than at the first session.

Mentions: The subjects were unaware of their group affiliation until the end of the first cognitive test session (PRE). The day after PRE testing, each subject from the training group was introduced to the training task by the research assistant. By means of an information sheet, the participants were informed in detail about the task and the setting, and completed a self-motivational control sheet. After this first supervised training session, the participants were able to independently perform the training sessions. Thereafter, the participants were asked to train at home for a maximum of 30 minutes per day over the following 3 weeks. Within these 20 days, they were visited once at home at a planned date by a research assistant (not the cognitive test examiner). During this visit, the working memory training compliance was evaluated by checking the training record stored on the training computer (seeFigure 2 for an overview of the number of training session performed by individual subjects). For two subjects, the home visit did not take place due to organizational reasons (control group subjects code 15 and 28). Three weeks after PRE testing, the cognitive testing was repeated (POST) and some months later, the subjects participated in the third test session (FU, range 2 months 22 days to 5 months 6 days). No difference in the timing of FU was observed between the groups (training group: 3 months 21 days ± 6.44 mean ± SEM; control group: 3 months 16 days ± 4.77 mean ± SEM, unpaired t-test).


Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children.

Pugin F, Metz AJ, Stauffer M, Wolf M, Jenni OG, Huber R - F1000Res (2014)

Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session).Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session) is shown. Each solid line represents the performance of an individual (N = 14) in the visuospatial n-back (VNB) task training mean n of VNB at the first training session (circle), at the session of maximal performance (triangle) and at the last training session (square). The dashed line represents the average performance at the first session, the session of maximal performance and the performance at the last session. Average maximal performance was reached between session 10 and 11 (mean 10.21 ± SEM 1.22) and average performance at the last session was reached between session 16 and 17 (16.14 ± 1.19). ** indicates: performance at session of maximal performance was significantly higher than performance at the first and the last training session. * indicates: performance at the last session was significantly higher than at the first session.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4309169&req=5

f2: Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session).Individual training performance (first session, session of maximal performance, last session) is shown. Each solid line represents the performance of an individual (N = 14) in the visuospatial n-back (VNB) task training mean n of VNB at the first training session (circle), at the session of maximal performance (triangle) and at the last training session (square). The dashed line represents the average performance at the first session, the session of maximal performance and the performance at the last session. Average maximal performance was reached between session 10 and 11 (mean 10.21 ± SEM 1.22) and average performance at the last session was reached between session 16 and 17 (16.14 ± 1.19). ** indicates: performance at session of maximal performance was significantly higher than performance at the first and the last training session. * indicates: performance at the last session was significantly higher than at the first session.
Mentions: The subjects were unaware of their group affiliation until the end of the first cognitive test session (PRE). The day after PRE testing, each subject from the training group was introduced to the training task by the research assistant. By means of an information sheet, the participants were informed in detail about the task and the setting, and completed a self-motivational control sheet. After this first supervised training session, the participants were able to independently perform the training sessions. Thereafter, the participants were asked to train at home for a maximum of 30 minutes per day over the following 3 weeks. Within these 20 days, they were visited once at home at a planned date by a research assistant (not the cognitive test examiner). During this visit, the working memory training compliance was evaluated by checking the training record stored on the training computer (seeFigure 2 for an overview of the number of training session performed by individual subjects). For two subjects, the home visit did not take place due to organizational reasons (control group subjects code 15 and 28). Three weeks after PRE testing, the cognitive testing was repeated (POST) and some months later, the subjects participated in the third test session (FU, range 2 months 22 days to 5 months 6 days). No difference in the timing of FU was observed between the groups (training group: 3 months 21 days ± 6.44 mean ± SEM; control group: 3 months 16 days ± 4.77 mean ± SEM, unpaired t-test).

Bottom Line: Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls).Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group.The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, 8032, Switzerland ; Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Zurich, 8057, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily), while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls). The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus