Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology
Cognitive Training (CT) is beginning to receive a great amount of attention as a treatment option for children and adults who have sustained brain insults, have chronic conditions such as a learning disability, or have other types of cognitively-related difficulties. There are numerous peer-reviewed articles examining CT, and yet there is confusion about what CT is and whether it is effective. The model common to most forms of CT posits that by doing "mind exercises" one produces dendrite growth that eventually leads to improved collaborative functioning of neural pathways in the brain. This study evaluated the efficacy of a CT program that is commercially available in the US Northwest. The study gathered objective and subjective data to determine whether this CT program produces significant changes in domains of special program focus, specifically short-term memory, attention and concentration, self identity, subjective impressions of improvement, and academic performance. Thirty male and female participants between the ages of 7 and 17 years agreed to participate. A pre- vs. post-intervention design was used, with the "post" condition consisting of intermediate vs. extended intervention durations, allowing a dose-related analysis also to be conducted. Results indicated that no pre- vs. post-intervention effects were detected for the domains of short-term memory, attention and concentration, self identity, and academic performance. However an intervention effect was found with subjective impressions of improvement in memory and behavior. Therefore, overall, only a limited amount of impact resulted from the CT intervention.
Ulrich, Jenae, "Evaluation of a Cognitive Training Program" (2014). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). 125.