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Title:Cognitive training with casual video games: the effects of working memory and reasoning related games on the cognitive abilities of younger and older adults
Author(s):Ang, Cher Wee
Director of Research:Kramer, Arthur F
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramer, Arthur F
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lleras, Alejandro; Wang, Frances; Morrow, Daniel G; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Cognitive training
age-related differences
transfer of training
casual games
Abstract:Cognitive functioning can affect one’s performance at work, quality of life and the ability to live independently, hence there are theoretical and practical implications to understanding whether cognitive training is effective, and its effects across the adult lifespan and with individual differences. There is still mixed evidence to suggest that training on a set of tasks could improve or transfer to other tasks and affect cognitive abilities, in addition to methodological limitations that affect the interpretability of many training studies. In this study, we investigated whether 15 hours of training on casual video games can broadly improve cognition by measuring pre and post-training performance on tests of attention, episodic memory, perceptual speed, reasoning and working memory. Groups of younger (Baniqued et al., 2014) and older adults were trained with casual games that were correlated with working memory and reasoning abilities. Younger adults showed better overall performance and more gains for some games at the end of training compared to the older adults. While all participants improved on the trained games, the pattern of transfer was quite sparse and differed between the younger and older adults. The older adults, unlike the younger adults, did not show differential transfer, as a function of the experimental and an active control group, to a divided attention construct. The results provide evidence that while training gains were possible over the adult lifespan, the transfer to divided attention ability appears to be limited, within the limits of the present study (e.g. given training duration, and the constructs represented in the training games) to the younger adults.
Issue Date:2016-03-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Cher Wee Ang
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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