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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2014 Mar;55(3):256-7. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12196. Epub 2014 Jan 20.

Commentary: Working memory training and ADHD - where does its potential lie? Reflections on Chacko et al. (2014).

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MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK.


Chacko et al.'s investigation of the clinical utility of WM training to alleviate key symptoms of ADHD is timely and substantial, and marks a significant point in cognitive training research. Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) involves intensive practice on multiple memory span tasks that increase in difficulty as performance improves with practice. Relative to a placebo version in which the span level of the memory tasks are kept at a low fixed level, Chacko et al. () found that CWMT boosted the performance of children with ADHD on short-term memory (STM) tasks similar to trained activities. Complex WM span measures sharing little overlap with the structure of training activities were not enhanced. Neither did active CWMT ameliorate classic symptoms of ADHD such as parent or teacher ratings of attentional problems, or direct measures of motor impulsivity and sustained attention. Reading, spelling, comprehension or mathematics scores similarly showed no response to training.


ADHD interventions; cognitive training; multifaceted support; working memory training

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