A meta-analysis on the efficacy of cogmed working memory training

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bridgida E. McLaughlin (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Candace Boan-Lenzo

Abstract: Working memory is the ability to temporarily hold information in one’s mind, manipulatethis information and then use it. Working memory is a critical skill in one’s dailyfunctioning as it impacts our ability to carry out multi-step directions, apply reading skills,solve complex mathematic problems, and perform many other academic tasks.Research has recently found that working memory skills can be increased with propertraining. Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) is an online training program thatis said to increase working memory and related skills in different populations ofparticipants. Previous meta-analyses have analyzed the efficacy of CWMT and foundno impact on reasoning ability, symptoms of ADHD, transfer effects on WM capacity,verbal ability, word reading, or arithmetic (Melby-Lervag & Hulme, 2013; Shipstead,Hick, & Engle, 2012). They did find immediate gains on verbal working memory andvisual-spatial working memory, which did not maintain at follow up. The current studyinvolved a meta-analysis of 13 recent (since 2011), published peer-reviewed articles ordissertations examining the effects of CWMT on auditory working memory, visualspatialworking memory, attention, parent and teacher ratings of inattentionhyperactivity, self-ratings of ADHD symptoms and executive functions, reading skills, and math skills. The results of the meta-analysis only revealed a small impact onauditory working memory and a small to moderate effect on visual-spatial workingmemory. There was no impact on clinical measures of attention, self-rating of ADHDsymptoms, teacher rating of inattention, nor parent rating of inattention. There weresignificant impacts on parent rating of inattention and teacher rating of hyperactivity.There was a small effect on self-rating of executive functions. In regards to academicskills, there were no statistical impacts on reading or math skills.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Cogmed, Computer based training, Working Memory
Learning, Psychology of
Short-term memory

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