Are working memory training effects paradigm-specific?

Holmes, Joni, Woolgar, Francesca, Hampshire, Adam and Gathercole, Susan E. (2019) Are working memory training effects paradigm-specific? Frontiers in Psychology, 10. ISSN 1664-1078

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Abstract

A randomized controlled trial compared complex span and n-back training regimes to investigate the generality of training benefits across materials and paradigms. The memory items and training intensities were equated across programs, providing the first like-with-like comparison of transfer in these two widely used training paradigms. The stimuli in transfer tests of verbal and visuo-spatial n-back and complex span differed from the trained tasks, but were matched across the untrained paradigms. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three training groups: complex span training, n-back training, or no training. Pre- to- post training changes were observed for untrained n-back tasks following n-back training. Following complex span training there was equivocal evidence for improvements on a verbal complex span task, but no evidence for changes on an untrained visuo-spatial complex span activity. Relative to a no intervention group, the evidence supported no change on an untrained verbal complex span task following either n-back or complex span training. Equivocal evidence was found for improvements on visuo-spatial complex span and verbal and visuo-spatial n-back tasks following both training regimes. Evidence for selective transfer (comparing the two active training groups) was only found for an untrained visuo-spatial n-back task following n-back training. There was no evidence for cross-paradigm transfer. Thus transfer is constrained by working memory paradigm and the nature of individual processes executed within complex span tasks. However, within-paradigm transfer can occur when the change is limited to stimulus category, at least for n-back.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This research was supported by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain, the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Publisher Copyright: © 2019 Holmes, Woolgar, Hampshire and Gathercole.
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive training,intervention,memory,transfer,working memory,psychology(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2021 02:24
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2021 01:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81893
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01103

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