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Aging Ment Health. 2003 May;7(3):200-6.

Long-term improvements in cognitive performance through computer-assisted cognitive training: a pilot study in a residential home for older people.

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  • 1Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Innsbruck University Hospital, Austria.


The aim of the present pilot study was to investigate the effects of computer-assisted cognitive training on aging-associated memory deficits, information processing speed, learning, and interference tendency in older people. Residents of a home for older people (15 women, four men; mean age 83.5; range 75-91) participated in a 14-week computer-assisted cognitive training program. The Niirnberg Aging Inventory and the California Verbal Learning Test were administered prior to the program, immediately after the program and after a period of five months to assess the effectiveness of the cognitive training. After the cognitive training program there were significant improvements in primary working memory and also secondary working memory (for verbal and visual stimuli), on parameters of information processing speed, learning and interference tendency. Improvements in the last two cognitive parameters were maintained five months after completion of the training program. The present study indicates that computerized cognitive training programs can be used in older people to achieve long-term improvements in some important aspects of fluid intelligence. It is suggested that computers could be employed more extensively to prevent and treat cognitive deficits in older people.

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