Cogmed Update Issue 7, June 2008

New research tackles skepticism on brain training
“Face it: your IQ is basically hardwired.” So begins a recent article in Wired Magazine. The statement aptly captures the public’s persistent skepticism toward new video games that claim to make you smarter. For centuries, we have understood intelligence to be a set ability, unable to be improved. This thinking seems self-evident to many – at the end of the day, we’re either born smart or not-so-smart, right?
According to recent research, this is certainly not the case. There is mounting evidence that brain fitness can sharpen crucial cognitive abilities and dramatically impact countless daily activities that demand mental power.

Science based training casts broader net
A Q&A with Dr. Paul White

Paul White, PhD, is the founder and director of Working Memory Solutions, based in Wichita, Kansas. He has been testing and evaluating individuals with learning difficulties, ADHD, and dyslexia for more than 20 years. Having served on the faculties of three universities, Dr. White also helps families and businesses address the relevant family and relational issues as they pass ownership down to the next generation.

Brain fitness is an issue of growing importance to the public. How would you characterize the progress that has been made?
It’s certainly an exciting time. We’ve seen a lot of research recently that indicates that cognitive training – particularly working memory training – has real potential to deliver cognitive improvements. Judging from the body of research, I think we may be at the epicenter of an enormous opportunity to help a range of people and alter the way we understand the human brain, its abilities and limitations.
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California boy finds confidence through Cogmed
For nine year old Tim Bartolf, day dreaming was no laughing matter. His inability to focus in class was a source of anxiety for the whole family until he enrolled in Cogmed’s five week training program. “Now I hear the teacher when she talks,” he says. Click here to hear Tim’s story.

Research update:

Studies find all age groups can gain lasting benefits from Cogmed
Two breakthrough studies from the Karolinska Institute prove that people of all ages can gain a powerful and noticeable mental edge as they struggle to manage an overwhelming onslaught of information in daily life.

Cogmed adds significant benefits beyond medication, structured environment
An independent study conducted at New York University has again demonstrated the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training in improving attention among children with ADHD.
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Cogmed update:

Now you can monitor your long-term benefits through Cogmed extension training
One the most frequent and important questions we hear from users is “How do I know my working memory improvements will last?” Cogmed has conducted extensive follow-up research on trainees, finding that more than 80% show lasting improvements after competing working memory training. Now, you have a way to track your own staying power. Cogmed is introducing 100 free post-training sessions good one year following program completion. The new extension program is also available retroactively to anyone who completed training in 2006 and 2007.

Cogmed introduces family pricing
With the growing popularity of Cogmed and the launch of new versions of the program for adults and young children, Cogmed is introducing family pricing. Parents and children can now pursue the benefits of working memory training together with a single coach who can guide each person’s progress. Please contact the Cogmed qualified practice of your choice about family pricing.

Cogmed working memory training results now available online
Cogmed users can now access their working memory scores online – giving you the ability to track your own progress. While you check your scores daily, your coach will work closely with you to analyze overall trends and provide motivational feedback.

SharpBrains.com proves useful resource on brain fitness
“Which brain training program is right for me?”
As brain fitness enters the mainstream, this question has become more common – and more difficult to answer. Hundreds of brain products have flooded the market, each promising to boost mental performance based on scientific findings. But scratch below the surface and you’ll find that too many of these programs lack a solid scientific foundation.

One resource to help make informed decisions about brain health is SharpBrains.com. Founded by neuroscientist Elkhonon Goldberg and Alvaro Fernandez, the Web site and its lively blog provide the latest research and information about the brain fitness market. The site features a 10-Question Evaluation Checklist with the key considerations for selecting a cognitive training program. Another valuable resource is the site’s Neuroscience Interview Series, which captures the insights of many of the world’s leading brain experts