Training working memory

A teenager sits at a home computer wearing headphones. She watches the screen intently as a sequence of lights appear and disappear on several asteroids floating in space. She uses the mouse to repeat the sequence and the asteroids explode in a flash of light.

So, what is really going on here?

Like thousands of others around the world, this student is training her brain using Cogmed Working Memory Training. She will participate in these computerized working memory exercises from home for approximately 30 minutes every weekday for five weeks. The exercises are designed to train both the visuo-spatial and verbal working memory. With each click of the mouse, the level of difficulty adjusts based on the her real-time performance, ensuring that the program is rigorously strengthening the working memory without becoming too frustrating.

The training is available through professional channels around the world. Each training is led by a Cogmed-qualified coach who analyzes the results online and works with the user to provide feedback and encouragement over the phone.

No pain, no gain

The dramatic impact of Cogmed training has been documented in numerous research studies and across thousand of clinical users. But it is by no means a “quick fix.” Like any training, it requires hard work and perseverance. Those who put the most into it get the most out.

The program is challenging and often fun, but after the first few weeks it can be a struggle to keep up with the program. It is for precisely this reason that Cogmed is offered only through qualified practices and guided by a qualified coach. This has been the key to ensuring successful compliance, which exceeds 90 percent in the U.S.