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Psychol Aging. 2010 Dec;25(4):767-78. doi: 10.1037/a0020683.

Working memory training in older adults: evidence of transfer and maintenance effects.

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Department of General Psychology, Via Venezia 8, Padua, Italy.


Few studies have examined working memory (WM) training-related gains and their transfer and maintenance effects in older adults. This present research investigates the efficacy of a verbal WM training program in adults aged 65-75 years, considering specific training gains on a verbal WM (criterion) task as well as transfer effects on measures of visuospatial WM, short-term memory, inhibition, processing speed, and fluid intelligence. Maintenance of training benefits was evaluated at 8-month follow-up. Trained older adults showed higher performance than did controls on the criterion task and maintained this benefit after 8 months. Substantial general transfer effects were found for the trained group, but not for the control one. Transfer maintenance gains were found at follow-up, but only for fluid intelligence and processing speed tasks. The results are discussed in terms of cognitive plasticity in older adults.

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