From the NC State website:
A. Cogmed Working Memory Training is a home-based program that helps children and adults with attention problems by training and increasing their working memory capacity, thus resulting in improved ability to follow directions, compete tasks, refrain from becoming distracted, and in general, function more independently. Clinically proven results demonstrate that after training, children improve their ability to concentrate, control impulsive behavior and better utilize complex reasoning skills. In the end, better academic performance can be achieved especially in math and reading.
It is a comprehensive, home-based program. Through active engaging exercises, children (and adults) train at home five days a week for five weeks. An office visit is not necessary. The software automatically increases in difficulty, improving attention abilities. Every participant has a personal coach who leads the training, analyzes results, and provide encouragement through weekly phone calls. Two versions are available, one for children and adolescents, and one for adults. A preschool version is also available.
Q. What is working memory?
A. Working memory is a function of the brain that helps to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex competitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Working memory keeps information in the mind for a short time, typically for a few seconds, in order to use that information for thinking. In daily life, we use working memory for a number of tasks such as remembering instructions, solving problems, controlling impulses, and focusing attention. These are the activities that typically plague individuals with attention deficits.
Q. What are the signs of weak working memory?
- Problems focusing
- Difficulties starting and finishing tasks
- Forgetting instructions
Q. What are the benefits of training working memory?
- Improved ability to sustain attention
- Improves impulse control
- Better complex reasoning skills
- Better academic performance
- Parents and teachers also report other benefits in daily life:
- improved social skills
- taking initiative
- remembering things
- completing tasks like homework assignments more independently
- When asked one year after training to report on their experience, 79% of parents whose children had benefited from training reported effects had remained or increased.
Q. What does research show?
Research has established an important connection between working memory, attention, and school work. Most children with an attention problem also have working memory deficit. That means they don’t have the same working memory capacity as their peers. Increasing working memory capacity improves attention which helps improve academic performance.
Published, peer-reviewed, and controlled clinical studies have demonstrated that, upon completion of Cogmed Working Memory Training, 80% of participants have significantly improved their ability to concentrate and use complex reasoning skills over the long term. Cogmed Working Memory Training is scientifically validated by placebo-controlled clinical studies published in respected professional journals, and there is an on-going research at several leading U.S. universities. New research suggests positive results for normally-aging adults as well.
Q. How can I get more information?