Research update: June 1 2008

Studies find all age groups can gain lasting benefits from Cogmed
Two breakthrough studies from the Karolinska Institute prove that people of all ages can gain a powerful and noticeable mental edge as they struggle to manage an overwhelming onslaught of information in daily life.

“The research results call for the drastically expanded use of Cogmed Working Memory Training to people of all ages and conditions, far beyond the specialized segment of attention deficits,” said Helena Westerberg, PhD, Cogmed co-founder, and researcher at the Aging Research Center at the Karolinksa Institute, who led a study of 100 non-impaired adults.Her research included 45 adults between the ages of 60 and 70 and 55 between the ages of 20 and 30. Both age groups saw significant increases in working memory that transferred to improvements in reaction time and attention in daily life. For more information on the findings please reference the study poster.

A second study of 64 four and five year olds was led by Sissila Bergman, by Lisa Thorell, Ph.D. of the Karolinska Institute. Results indicate that working memory training is effective among young children for improving attention and working memory – even non-trained verbal working memory. In addition, the research revealed the unique trainability of working memory, showing that children who performed similar training for inhibitory control experienced no gains.

Cogmed Adds Significant Benefits Beyond Medication, Structured Environment
An independent study conducted at New York University has again demonstrated the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training in improving attention among children with ADHD. The study, which replicates Cogmed’s cornerstone research by Torkel Klingberg, was conducted during an 8 week behaviorally based summer treatment program. Forty six students between the ages of 7 and 12 participated in the study, all of whom were receiving medication and benefiting from a highly structured environment. The children were randomly divided into two groups, one performing visuospatial working memory tasks and the other performing verbal working memory tasks. The researchers, led by Christopher Lucas M.D., M.P.H., recorded clear benefits on non-trained working memory tasks and also on social behavior, according to blinded observers.

Additionally, students that trained visuospatial working memory experienced significant improvements compared to those who trained verbal working memory. These findings are consistent with Cogmed’s internal analysis and have long been incorporated into the program.