Notre Dame’s Dr. Brad Gibson Unveils Further Analysis of His Pilot Study Affirming the Effectiveness of Working Memory Training

Results presented at the Society for Research in Child Development conference, Boston March 30

In 2006, Dr. Bradley Gibson, associate professor of Psychology at Notre Dame University, conducted the first US study to replicate the results of the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training. Gibson followed a group of students with ADHD at the Discovery Middle School in Indiana who completed Cogmed Working Memory Training. After Training, Gibson found that 75% of the students showed significant improvements in working memory and in symptoms of ADHD. Though Gibson did not include a control group, the results confirmed the original studies of Cogmed Working Memory Training by Dr. Torkel Klingberg and his team of researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.

Last month, Gibson unveiled further analysis of his research at the prestigious annual conference sponsored by the Center for Research in Child Development. Specifically, Gibson’s new analysis seeks to explain why symptoms of attention deficits decrease when working memory is improved. Gibson proposes that improvements in attention deficits are mediated by changes in fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the ability to solve problems or adapt to novel situations in real time, and was measured by Raven’s Progressive Matrices in the study. According to Gibson, working memory improves fluid intelligence, which then reduces ADHD symptoms.

Gibson considers Cogmed Working Memory Training a very potent intervention for ADHD. He is currently rolling out a new pilot study comprised of 16 children in a treatment group and 16 in a control group. These children have severe attention deficit impairments as well as other complications.