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PLoS One. 2009 Sep 25;4(9):e7141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007141.

Can the error detection mechanism benefit from training the working memory? A comparison between dyslexics and controls--an ERP study.

Author information

1
The Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel. Thorvitz@construct.haifa.ac.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Based on the relationship between working memory and error detection, we investigated the capacity of adult dyslexic readers' working memory to change as a result of training, and the impact of training on the error detection mechanism.

METHODOLOGY:

27 dyslexics and 34 controls, all university students, participated in the study. ERP methodology and behavioral measures were employed prior to, immediately after, and 6 months after training. The CogniFit Personal Coach Program, which consists of 24 sessions of direct training of working memory skills, was used.

FINDINGS:

Both groups of readers gained from the training program but the dyslexic readers gained significantly more. In the dyslexic group, digit span increased from 9.84+/-3.15 to 10.79+/-3.03. Working memory training significantly increased the number of words per minute read correctly by 14.73%. Adult brain activity changed as a result of training, evidenced by an increase in both working memory capacity and the amplitude of the Error-related Negativity (ERN) component (24.71%). When ERN amplitudes increased, the percentage of errors on the Sternberg tests decreased.

CONCLUSIONS:

We suggest that by expanding the working memory capacity, larger units of information are retained in the system, enabling more effective error detection. The crucial functioning of the central-executive as a sub-component of the working memory is also discussed.

PMID:
19779625
PMCID:
PMC2746314
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0007141
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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