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Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trial.

Hardy JL, Nelson RA, Thomason ME, Sternberg DA, Katovich K, Farzin F, Scanlon M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group improved significantly more on the primary outcome measure, an aggregate measure of neuropsychological performance, than did the active control group (Cohen's d effect size = 0.255; 95% confidence interval = [0.198, 0.312]).Participants in the treatment group also showed greater improvements on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning, particularly on those items related to concentration compared to the control group (Cohen's d = 0.249; 95% confidence interval = [0.191, 0.306]).Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of tasks targeted to different cognitive functions can show transfer to a wide range of untrained measures of cognitive performance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Research and Development, Lumos Labs, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: A variety of studies have demonstrated gains in cognitive ability following cognitive training interventions. However, other studies have not shown such gains, and questions remain regarding the efficacy of specific cognitive training interventions. Cognitive training research often involves programs made up of just one or a few exercises, targeting limited and specific cognitive endpoints. In addition, cognitive training studies typically involve small samples that may be insufficient for reliable measurement of change. Other studies have utilized training periods that were too short to generate reliable gains in cognitive performance.

Methods: The present study evaluated an online cognitive training program comprised of 49 exercises targeting a variety of cognitive capacities. The cognitive training program was compared to an active control condition in which participants completed crossword puzzles. All participants were recruited, trained, and tested online (N = 4,715 fully evaluable participants). Participants in both groups were instructed to complete one approximately 15-minute session at least 5 days per week for 10 weeks.

Results: Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group improved significantly more on the primary outcome measure, an aggregate measure of neuropsychological performance, than did the active control group (Cohen's d effect size = 0.255; 95% confidence interval = [0.198, 0.312]). Treatment participants showed greater improvements than controls on speed of processing, short-term memory, working memory, problem solving, and fluid reasoning assessments. Participants in the treatment group also showed greater improvements on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning, particularly on those items related to concentration compared to the control group (Cohen's d = 0.249; 95% confidence interval = [0.191, 0.306]).

Conclusion: Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of tasks targeted to different cognitive functions can show transfer to a wide range of untrained measures of cognitive performance.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT-02367898.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Change in individual assessments of cognitive ability.Error bars represent confidence intervals bootstrapped over 100,000 iterations. Mean change scores and error bars are based on unadjusted summary statistics. P values are based on results from the ANCOVA analyses listed in Table 2. **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
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pone.0134467.g003: Change in individual assessments of cognitive ability.Error bars represent confidence intervals bootstrapped over 100,000 iterations. Mean change scores and error bars are based on unadjusted summary statistics. P values are based on results from the ANCOVA analyses listed in Table 2. **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.

Mentions: Based on the significant main effect on our primary outcome measure, we performed secondary analyses consisting of additional ANCOVA models for each assessment. The models revealed that the cognitive training treatment group improved significantly more than the crossword puzzles control group on five of the seven assessments. Specifically, significantly larger improvements for the treatment relative to the control group were found for Forward and Reverse Memory Span, Progressive Matrices, Go/No Go, and Arithmetic Reasoning, while the control group improved more than the treatment group on Grammatical Reasoning. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups for the Two-Target Search task. Fig 3 provides an illustration of the unadjusted change scores for each assessment for both groups. ANCOVA model p values and effect sizes along with unadjusted pre-test means and change scores for each assessment are shown in Table 2.


Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trial.

Hardy JL, Nelson RA, Thomason ME, Sternberg DA, Katovich K, Farzin F, Scanlon M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Change in individual assessments of cognitive ability.Error bars represent confidence intervals bootstrapped over 100,000 iterations. Mean change scores and error bars are based on unadjusted summary statistics. P values are based on results from the ANCOVA analyses listed in Table 2. **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4557999&req=5

pone.0134467.g003: Change in individual assessments of cognitive ability.Error bars represent confidence intervals bootstrapped over 100,000 iterations. Mean change scores and error bars are based on unadjusted summary statistics. P values are based on results from the ANCOVA analyses listed in Table 2. **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
Mentions: Based on the significant main effect on our primary outcome measure, we performed secondary analyses consisting of additional ANCOVA models for each assessment. The models revealed that the cognitive training treatment group improved significantly more than the crossword puzzles control group on five of the seven assessments. Specifically, significantly larger improvements for the treatment relative to the control group were found for Forward and Reverse Memory Span, Progressive Matrices, Go/No Go, and Arithmetic Reasoning, while the control group improved more than the treatment group on Grammatical Reasoning. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups for the Two-Target Search task. Fig 3 provides an illustration of the unadjusted change scores for each assessment for both groups. ANCOVA model p values and effect sizes along with unadjusted pre-test means and change scores for each assessment are shown in Table 2.

Bottom Line: Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group improved significantly more on the primary outcome measure, an aggregate measure of neuropsychological performance, than did the active control group (Cohen's d effect size = 0.255; 95% confidence interval = [0.198, 0.312]).Participants in the treatment group also showed greater improvements on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning, particularly on those items related to concentration compared to the control group (Cohen's d = 0.249; 95% confidence interval = [0.191, 0.306]).Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of tasks targeted to different cognitive functions can show transfer to a wide range of untrained measures of cognitive performance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Research and Development, Lumos Labs, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: A variety of studies have demonstrated gains in cognitive ability following cognitive training interventions. However, other studies have not shown such gains, and questions remain regarding the efficacy of specific cognitive training interventions. Cognitive training research often involves programs made up of just one or a few exercises, targeting limited and specific cognitive endpoints. In addition, cognitive training studies typically involve small samples that may be insufficient for reliable measurement of change. Other studies have utilized training periods that were too short to generate reliable gains in cognitive performance.

Methods: The present study evaluated an online cognitive training program comprised of 49 exercises targeting a variety of cognitive capacities. The cognitive training program was compared to an active control condition in which participants completed crossword puzzles. All participants were recruited, trained, and tested online (N = 4,715 fully evaluable participants). Participants in both groups were instructed to complete one approximately 15-minute session at least 5 days per week for 10 weeks.

Results: Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group improved significantly more on the primary outcome measure, an aggregate measure of neuropsychological performance, than did the active control group (Cohen's d effect size = 0.255; 95% confidence interval = [0.198, 0.312]). Treatment participants showed greater improvements than controls on speed of processing, short-term memory, working memory, problem solving, and fluid reasoning assessments. Participants in the treatment group also showed greater improvements on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning, particularly on those items related to concentration compared to the control group (Cohen's d = 0.249; 95% confidence interval = [0.191, 0.306]).

Conclusion: Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of tasks targeted to different cognitive functions can show transfer to a wide range of untrained measures of cognitive performance.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT-02367898.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus