OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Utilizing Cognitive Training to Remediate Working Memory in School-age Children


Considerable research has identified working memory (WM) as an important predictor of academic success, and has been specifically found to impact math, reading, and writing skills. Moreover, research has found WM deficits to be a common symptom in students with learning differences. In an attempt to ameliorate WM capacity, computerized cognitive training (CCT) has become a prominent intervention. Although the literature has established trainability of WM (i.e., near-transfer), little is known about transfer of training to other cognitive abilities (i.e., far-transfer). Overall, the purpose of the current study is to examine the efficacy of CCT (during the school day) in enhancing WM, attention, and cognitive flexibility. Also, we expected training to produce changes in other academically-related outcomes (e.g., teacher perceptions of classroom behaviors). Students (n=50) ages 7-13 years old, and teachers (n=10) were recruited from a private school serving students with learning differences. Initially, teachers were asked to complete a checklist prior to and after training for all students as an index of school-related concerns. Students were provided with twenty hours of CCT, and were administered measures of WM, attention, and cognitive flexibility pre-to-post training. It was hypothesized that trained participants would show improvement in WM, attention, and cognitive flexibility. Also, teachers would report fewer neurological concerns for those students who received training. Overall, the findings support the effectiveness of CCT in remediating WM in children with learning differences. Additionally, teachers reported fewer classroom concerns following training.

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