From Klingberg’s initial research to the first clinical trainings, Cogmed’s initial focus was to help children with ADHD. Given the link between attention and working memory, this population was an obvious first choice for the training. From a research perspective, changes in daily behavior were more likely to impact children with ADHD and be observed by their parents and teachers. At the same time, clinicians were eager to assist these children who were at risk of seriously underperforming in the classroom, often in spite of average or high intelligence.
As a result, numerous studies have been conducted to better understand how working memory training affects attention deficits. At the Karolinska Institute alone, Klingberg’s colleagues have published research on working memory training and ADHD in several of the world’s leading journals. Among them are the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Developmental Science, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, and Child Neuropsychology.
Together, research and clinical experience have demonstrated the substantial benefits for students with ADHD who in many cases are able to turn their lives around by performing better in school, improving interaction with their peers and being able to follow instructions from parents and teachers.
For these reasons, researchers and medical professionals continue to see people with attention deficits as a primary target for working memory training. At the same time, it was apparent from the beginning that the promise of working memory training was not limited to children with ADHD.