Online cognitive training in healthy older adults: a preliminary study on the effects of single versus multi-domain training
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.
Walton, C. C., Kavanagh, A., Downey, L. A., Lomas, J., Camfield, D. A. & Stough, C. (2015). Online cognitive training in healthy older adults: a preliminary study on the effects of single versus multi-domain training. Translational Neuroscience, 6 (1), 13-19.