Objective The impact of working memory (WM) training on everyday life functioning has rarely been examined, and it is not clear whether WM training gains are transferred to reasoning abilities. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a verbal WM training in older adults, in terms of specific gains and transfer effects to everyday life and reasoning abilities. Method Thirty-six community dwelling older adults (from 65 to 75 years of age) were randomly assigned to a training or an active control group. The specific gains in a WM task similar to the one trained were assessed. Transfer effects to everyday life and reasoning abilities were also examined using (i) objective performance-based tasks (the Everyday Problem Test and the Timed Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale) and (ii) the Cattell test and Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, respectively. Results Only the trained group showed specific benefits and transfer effects to one of the everyday abilities measures (the Everyday Problem Test) and in the two reasoning tasks. Conclusion These results suggest that WM training can positively impact cognitive functioning and, more importantly, older adults' abilities in everyday living.

Benefits in tasks related to everyday life competences after a working memory training in older adults

Cantarella, Alessandra;Borella, Erika;Carretti, Barbara;Kliegel, Matthias;de Beni, Rossana
2017

Abstract

Objective The impact of working memory (WM) training on everyday life functioning has rarely been examined, and it is not clear whether WM training gains are transferred to reasoning abilities. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a verbal WM training in older adults, in terms of specific gains and transfer effects to everyday life and reasoning abilities. Method Thirty-six community dwelling older adults (from 65 to 75 years of age) were randomly assigned to a training or an active control group. The specific gains in a WM task similar to the one trained were assessed. Transfer effects to everyday life and reasoning abilities were also examined using (i) objective performance-based tasks (the Everyday Problem Test and the Timed Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale) and (ii) the Cattell test and Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, respectively. Results Only the trained group showed specific benefits and transfer effects to one of the everyday abilities measures (the Everyday Problem Test) and in the two reasoning tasks. Conclusion These results suggest that WM training can positively impact cognitive functioning and, more importantly, older adults' abilities in everyday living.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3235514
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