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Translational Neuroscience

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Online cognitive training in healthy older adults: a preliminary study on the effects of single versus multi-domain training

Courtney C Walton
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Alexandra Kavanagh
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luke A. Downey
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Justine Lomas
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ David A Camfield
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Con Stough
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-11-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tnsci-2015-0003

Abstract

It has been argued that cognitive training may be effective in improving cognitive performance in healthy older adults. However, inappropriate active control groups often hinder the validity of these claims. Additionally there are relatively few independent empirical studies on popular commercially available cognitive training programs. The current research extends on previous work to explore cognitive training employing a more robust control group. Twenty-eight healthy older adults (age: M = 64.18, SD = 6.9) completed either a multi-faceted online computerised cognitive training program or trained on a simple reaction time task for 20 minutes a day over a 28 day period. Both groups significantly improved performance in multiple measures of processing speed. Only the treatment group displayed improved performance for measures of memory accuracy. These results suggest improvements in processing speed and visual working memory may be obtained over a short period of computerized cognitive training. However, gains over this time appear only to show near transfer. The use of similar active control groups in future research are needed in order to better understand changes in cognition after cognitive training.

Keywords: Cognitive training; Processing speed; Working memory; Healthy older adults; Dementia

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About the article

Received: 2014-10-13

Accepted: 2014-10-23

Published Online: 2014-11-14


Citation Information: Translational Neuroscience, ISSN (Online) 2081-6936, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tnsci-2015-0003.

Export Citation

©2015 Courtney C Walton et al. . This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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