Understanding Key Terms

1a. Evidence-based cognitive training Cogmed Working Memory Training has it’s foundations in the world of academia. The original Cogmed prototype emerged from a research lab at the Karolinksa, Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and the first research study validating Cogmed was published in 2002. Since then, Cogmed has been used by researchers all over the world and findings of Cogmed research studies have been presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Cogmed improves working memory and there is evidence from research and clinical practice to support this claim. Learn more. 2a. Cogmed Working Memory Training: adaptive vs. non-adaptive Cogmed Working Memory Training is an adaptive, computerized program – adjusting in difficulty based on whether a user correctly or incorrectly remembers a particular sequence of stimuli in an exercise. This rigorous and intense design pushes the user to their limit – requiring them to hold as much information in mind as possible and thereby increasing their working memory (WM) capacity over the course of training. Differently, non-adaptive training only requires a user to repeat a fixed, low-level number of items over time. Such activity almost only increases the speed at which exercises are completed rather than WM capacity. Learn more. 3a. Trained vs. Non-trained tasks During the course of Cogmed Working Memory Training, the user trains on a myriad of visuo-spatial and verbal working memory (WM) exercises. Because the exercises are adaptive and push the user to the extent of their ability, it is expected that the user improves on the exercises over the course of training. To test whether WM improvements extend beyond training, it is important to assess gains with tasks not practiced on during training. Non-trained tasks might differ in appearance, might be administered in real world rather than on computer and might require the user to respond in a different manner (ie., pointing with their finger rather than clicking a computer mouse). In improving on non-trained tasks, the user has provided evidence that the underlying WM ability has increased. Learn more.