Recent studies have suggested that the visuospatial component of working memory (WM) is selectively impaired in individuals with Down syndrome (DS), the deficit relating specifically to the spatial-simultaneous component, which is involved when stimuli are presented simultaneously. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of a computer-based program for training the spatial-simultaneous component of WM in terms of: specific effects (on spatial-simultaneous WM tasks); near and far transfer effects (on spatial-sequential and visuospatial abilities, and everyday memory tasks); and maintenance effects (1 month after the training). A comparison was drawn between the results obtained when the training was led by parents at home as opposed to an expert in psychology. Thirty-nine children and adolescents with DS were allocated to one of two groups: the training was administered by an expert in one, and by appropriately instructed parents in the other. The training was administered individually twice a week for a month, in eight sessions lasting approximately 30 min each. Our participants' performance improved after the training, and these results were maintained a month later in both groups. Overall, our findings suggest that spatial-simultaneous WM performance can be improved, obtaining specific and transfer gains; above all, it seems that, with adequate support, parents could effectively administer a WM training to their child.

Improving spatial-simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome: effect of a training program led by parents instead of an expert

PULINA, FRANCESCA;CARRETTI, BARBARA;LANFRANCHI, SILVIA;MAMMARELLA, IRENE CRISTINA
2015

Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that the visuospatial component of working memory (WM) is selectively impaired in individuals with Down syndrome (DS), the deficit relating specifically to the spatial-simultaneous component, which is involved when stimuli are presented simultaneously. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of a computer-based program for training the spatial-simultaneous component of WM in terms of: specific effects (on spatial-simultaneous WM tasks); near and far transfer effects (on spatial-sequential and visuospatial abilities, and everyday memory tasks); and maintenance effects (1 month after the training). A comparison was drawn between the results obtained when the training was led by parents at home as opposed to an expert in psychology. Thirty-nine children and adolescents with DS were allocated to one of two groups: the training was administered by an expert in one, and by appropriately instructed parents in the other. The training was administered individually twice a week for a month, in eight sessions lasting approximately 30 min each. Our participants' performance improved after the training, and these results were maintained a month later in both groups. Overall, our findings suggest that spatial-simultaneous WM performance can be improved, obtaining specific and transfer gains; above all, it seems that, with adequate support, parents could effectively administer a WM training to their child.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3168064
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