Does working memory training improve the classroom performance of children with poor working memory? A randomised controlled trial

Institution: University of York

Investigator(s): Darren Dunning, Professor Susan Gathercole, Dr. Joni Holmes

Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Children with low working memory (WM) typically make slow academic progress and have difficulties meeting the WM demands of the classroom. Children with poor WM are at high risk of underachievement in literacy and maths. The aim of this research is to determine whether Cogmed selectively enhances performance on a standardized battery of WM assessments with high construct validity in children with low WM, to test whether the findings of Holmes et al. (2009) can be replicated using a strict RCT methodology, to assess whether training-induced improvements on memory tasks transfer to practical classroom situations and to assess transfer to other executive functions, academic outcomes and sustainability of training gains

Population & Sample Size: N =94 children with low WM ((<15th percentile on backward digit recall and visuo-spatial task from the Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA)), ages 7 -9 years Design: Randomized, Placebo controlled, Double-blinded, Test-retest, 12 month follow-up

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