February 3, 2023
Cogmed working memory training has direct, immediate, and almost universal effect on working memory capacity and attention. Depending on the baseline working memory capacity, the surrounding environment, support structure, school or work environment, the presence of positive or negative social reinforcement, these direct effects can then, to a varying degree, transfer to other areas of cognitive capacity, performance, and quality of life in general.
Different ways of asking whether “cognitive training works” have haunted educators, clinical psychologists, and neuroscientists alike for decades. The most recent research studies, however, make promising contributions to the field by covering a broader set of outcome variables, longer time spans, and larger populations than ever studied before.
Based on data from these trials a more nuanced picture emerges–and the state of the art can be thoroughly revised. As it turns out, the potential benefits from cognitive training can be both vast and long lived, in many cases larger than what was indicated by the early trials in the field.
At the same time, not all types of cognitive training have the same effect, and realizing the effects requires substantial effort from the person undergoing the training, as well as precise information, tools, and processes from the clinician providing it.
Taking the last few years of evidence about cognitive training into account will have the potential to influence policy in general, as well as impact specific clinical treatment recommendations and national curricula.
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