From a research idea to a global reality in 10 years

The breakthrough idea that started Cogmed came from Torkel Klingberg in 1999. A decade later, we have come from a research idea worth exploring to a set of research-proven and real-life tested solutions used by thousands people around the world. And this is only the beginning. To give you a sense of Cogmed’s path to our present position, we list the key milestones below.

Torkel Klingberg submits the initial research proposal – designing a training program to improve working memory in children with ADHD. The role of working memory in ADHD has been proposed and evidenced by Russell Barkley and later other researchers. The potential of carefully designed and focused cognitive training programs had been shown in the work of Michael Merzenich and later others.

The team of founders is put together and the first prototype training program is created. Helena Westerberg brings the neuropsychological and clinical perspective, Jonas Beckeman provides the software architecture and programming, and David Sjölander designs the interface. The first version of the product is the result of a close and unique collaboration between these experts in basic research cognitive neuroscience, clinical neuro-psychology, and interactive game design for children.

The results from the first randomized, placebo controlled study on Cogmed training show very promising results. The results are soon published in the first paper on Cogmed training. The results inspire the team to partner with Karolinska Innovation AB to create the company Cogmed and to seek funding to build a stable product and test it large scale.

All effort from the team, now including CEO Jonas Jendi, goes into planning and executing a larger study to replicate the initial research findings.


A project is launched to test the transferability of Cogmed training outside of academic research to daily life. The first version of the Cogmed coaching method is developed and the first paying customers, spread out across Sweden, are carefully coached with excellent results.

The data from the 2002 study is published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Leading American psychologists and psychiatrists begin to contact Cogmed in Stockholm, interested in evaluating the training program in their practices. In the summer, Scientific American highlights the dramatic findings causing increasing professional interest in the U.S. Cogmed decides to expand into America.

The first American practices are trained and begin offering Cogmed training. Arthur Lavin M.D., of Cleveland, and Bill Benninger, Ph.D. of Columbus are the first, followed by Mark Katz, Ph.D., of San Diego and Barbara Ingersoll, Ph.D. of Bethesda, Maryland. The first European practice joins the network – Dr. Andreas Muller of Switzerland.


Cogmed is officially launched in the United States and the Naperville office is opened. Brad Gibson, Ph.D. of Notre Dame University presents positive clinical results of Cogmed training on children with ADHD, from the first U.S. study on Cogmed. The Cogmed network expands rapidly, adding leading practitioners from around the United States. The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and other media outlets begin reporting on the success. JVS of Toronto becomes the first Cogmed practice in Canada; Mr. Go Hirano partners with Cogmed to launch Cogmed in Japan; the Cogmed QM program for adults is introduced; and the first study on Cogmed training for stroke patients is published.

Word spreads around the world about Cogmed Research and the expansion in the U.S. Cogmed partners with BeterBrein of Holland and with Dr. Roby Marcou in Singapore. The Cogmed JM program for preschoolers is introduced. Helena Westerberg Ph.D., of the Karolinska Institute presents her data on Cogmed training on normal adults. Chris Lucas, M.D. of New York University presents his data on Cogmed training for children with ADHD.

Independent leading British Working Memory researchers from the University of York publish two articles on the results they have seen following Cogmed training. The studies are the first to show academic improvements following training.

The Cogmed network now includes about 150 Cogmed qualified practices and reaches 25 countries on six continents.

On June 28th Cogmed is acquired by Pearson and becomes part of Pearson Clinical Assessment Group. Cogmed represents Pearson Group’s first entry into the evidence-based cognitive training market.