Objective: Children with fundamental deficits in working memory often lack a variety of goal directed skills associated with executive functioning. We investigated executive functioning in conjunction with working memory training to see if aspects of executive functioning might improve. Method: We tested 21 children (17 boys, 4 girls) either receiving academic services because of attention difficulties or referred with concerns about learning. Their average age at baseline was 10.1 years (SD = 2.3), and WISC-IV Verbal Comprehension Indices ranged from 91 to 150 (M = 113.8; SD = 17.6). They each completed 25 Cogmed computer sessions of adaptive interactive working memory training. Parents and teachers completed BRIEFs, and our neuropsychological batteries included NEPSY Auditory Attention/Response Set and Inhibition subtests. Results: Using repeated measures analysis, global parent ratings of executive functioning improved after working memory training, F(1, 19) = 6.71, p = .025. Interestingly, Metacognition rather than Behavior Regulation drove the improvement in scores. Teachers' ratings only indicated improvement in 2 of the Metacognition subtests: Working Memory and Organization of Materials. Further, with NEPSY Auditory Attention controlled, Response Set scores were higher following the Cogmed intervention (p = .035), as were NEPSY Inhibition and Switching, with Naming controlled (p = .012 and p = .005, respectively). Conclusion: Although parents' ratings were perhaps influenced by their awareness of the intervention, improvement in NEPSY subtests suggests they may have noticed subtle changes better than teachers. Yet, teachers also seemed to notice some differences. These results indicate Cogmed may develop aspects of executive functioning essential in the classroom.
The Transfer Effects of Working Memory Training on Executive Functioning Skills of Children with Attention Difficulties
G Goodman, A Nolty, T Hunt-Felke, S Marion; B-35
The Transfer Effects of Working Memory Training on Executive Functioning Skills of Children with Attention Difficulties. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 535. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.131
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