Taking working memory training from the laboratory into schools

Institution: Cambridge University, MRC Cognition and Brain Science Unit

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

Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Children with poor working memory (WM) are at risk of educational underachievement in maths and literacy. These children struggle to learn in the face of classroom tasks that overwhelm their WM capacity. There is thus a need to institute interventions that will help children overcome these cognitive deficits and ensuing learning difficulties. These interventions must however be feasible in the real classroom setting, where there are children of various achievement and WM levels. This study is therefore aimed at conducting two field trials in which teachers administered Cogmed to their own pupils in school.

Field Trial #1

Population & Sample Size: N = 22 children with mixed ability in adaptive Cogmed training group, ages 8 – 9 years

Design: Test-retest

Field Trial #2

Population & Sample Size: N = 100 children with low academic performance, ages 9 -11 years

Design: Randomized, Passive controlled, Test-retest