eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Editorial board Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors Ethical standards and procedures
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
1-2/2019
vol. 14
 
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abstract:
Original article

The effectiveness of working memory training with the use of n-back task in a group of older adults

Agnieszka Chojak

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2019; 14, 1–2: 9–16
Online publish date: 2019/09/06
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Aim of the study
The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of working memory (WM) training. The vast majority of n-back training studies were conducted on populations of young people at the peak of their cognitive functioning. This study addressed the population of people over 60 years old (N = 30).

Material and methods
Volunteers were randomly assigned to training groups. Effectiveness of trainings (n-back task in the experimental group and general knowledge quiz in the active control group) was examined across training groups. Participants were tested before and after a 25-day training regime, with the use of following tasks: Sternberg, Linear Syllogisms, Go No Go, Task Switching, Running Span, and Operation Span (OSPAN). Participants trained for about 20 minutes per day via the Internet.

Results
Training gains were similar in both groups – there were no significant differences in changes of results between both groups. In most of the tasks the groups achieved better results in the second measurement. The advantage of n-back training were significantly shorter reaction times in difficult conditions in the Sternberg task, which can serve as an example of near transfer.

Conclusions
Numerous studies show that some cognitive functions decrease with age, so the potential beneficiaries of WM training are older people. This study did not show differences in the effectiveness of the training methods used in this study. Further studies with larger samples are recommended to evaluate the possible effectiveness of WM training in older people.

keywords:

working memory, n-back task, aging, neuroplasticity

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