Cogmed Newsletter #8, December 2008

Season’s Greetings from Cogmed

2008 has proven to be a pivotal year for Cogmed and the cognitive training industry as a whole. Backed by a growing body of independent, peer-reviewed research and widespread clinical experience, the Cogmed training programs have achieved new levels of acceptance in medical and educational communities around the world.

Clinical results confirm training’s effectiveness
This past fall, the 2,000th Cogmed user in America successfully completed training, joining thousands of others around the world who have leveraged working memory training to improve focus and unlock their potential. At the same time, our network of qualified practices in the U.S. and Canada grew beyond 100 and continues to expand further. These are important milestones for Cogmed, to be sure. But when combined with mounting research on the importance of working memory, they tell a bigger story. Namely, that working memory training has broad implications and is here to stay.

Persistent research gives verdict on working memory training
Independent researchers from the world’s leading universities continue to conduct studies that attest to the broad effectiveness of the Cogmed program. For example, at last month’s CHADD conference, Dr. Joni Holmes from the University of York in England presented new research findings on Cogmed training.

Also in November, Dr. Torkel Klingberg received an enthusiastic response for his presentation on working memory training at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Symposium.

Publication of data is pending for both of these studies and we will share the results with you as soon as we can.

Working memory assumes role as a primary indicator of success.
The stream of research indicating the central importance of working memory has reached a critical mass. In a few short years, the perception of working memory in the scientific community has evolved from a lesser known brain function to a core cognitive ability that underlies the processes we use everyday to perform a wide range of activities. In short, we are seeing that working memory is the primary indicator in determining academic and professional success.

The understanding of working memory’s importance has broad implications beyond the research community. It will effectively change the way that people approach learning and daily performance in the classroom, at the office and in many other circumstances that require sustained focus. At Cogmed, we feel we have a responsibility to educate the public on these important developments. In 2007, we launched www.aboutworkingmemory.org to be a resource for those looking to learn more about this crucial cognitive function. The site includes valuable information on how working memory impacts us everyday. The site’s most popular feature is the “Working Memory Challenge”, a fun exercise that allows users to better understand the strength of their working memory.

New horizons in 2009
We look forward eagerly to the coming year and anticipate continued growth as working memory training is more broadly adopted by students, professionals, aging adults and athletes who want to improve their focus. With our proven track record, we are ready to revolutionize the way people prepare for success.

Sincerely,
Jonas Jendi
President and CEO

Cogmed founder releases new book on information overload.
Dr. Torkel Klingberg is a co-founder of Cogmed and professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute. He recently released The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory. For more information on the new book, click here.

What is the origin of information overload?
I think that there are three important factors that make the modern workplace so cognitively demanding: the sheer amount of information, the frequency of distractions and multitasking. I think we are seeing an increasing amount of each of these factors, and this is being driven by technological advances as well as the growing pressure to get a lot done in short time. Read more »

Practice in focus: Dr. Aronson-Ramos – Cogmed represents a new approach to patient care
A Q&A with Dr. Judith Aronson-Ramos

Dr. Judith Aronson-Ramos is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician practicing in Boca Raton, Florida. Originally a General Pediatrician, she has focused on special needs children for more than ten years, including many who struggle with the ability to focus. Dr. Aronson-Ramos joined the Cogmed network in late 2007 and has led almost 50 children and parents through the program.

How did you first hear about Cogmed?
Many of the children I treat are constrained by their ability to focus. So, their parents are yearning for interventions that go beyond the typical treatments like medication and behavioral therapy. On behalf of my patients, I was on a mission to find evidence based programs that could meet their needs. But it wasn’t easy. There are hundreds of programs available but very few have strong neuroscience behind them. Cogmed really stood out because it has excellent, well designed research to support it. Read more »

User Profile: Lorraine O’Neill – Sixty-five year-old woman regains focus through computerized training.
When sixty-five year-old Lorraine O’Neill lost her husband of some forty years, she found herself faced with a mountain of daily tasks that he had previously handled. “He made all the decisions about everything,” said Lorraine. “I didn’t even know how to put gas in the car.” Making matters worse, Lorraine began to recognize that she was having difficulty focusing her attention. Read more »

Cogmed network gathers in Phoenix
The annual Cogmed conference was held in Phoenix, AZ in October, providing a forum for Cogmed practitioners to share ideas, experiences and best practices. With more than 60 members of the network in attendance, the event was a great success. Read more »

Cogmed strengthens its programs and extends appeal.
Cogmed took major steps to improve and expand its core programs in 2008, releasing new offerings for adults and preschool children. Additional enhancements grant the user greater visibility into the training process and allow continued training for up to a year in order to stay sharp. For more information on these important developments,

please follow the links below:
Cogmed QM for adults
Cogmed JM for preschoolers
Cogmed Training Web