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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 19;9(3):e92269. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092269. eCollection 2014.

Plasticity of attentional functions in older adults after non-action video game training: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group, Department of Basic Psychology II, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain.
2
Neuropsychology and Cognition Group, Department of Psychology and Institute of Health Sciences (iUNICS), University of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Palma (IdISPa), Mallorca, Spain; School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
3
Neuropsychology and Cognition Group, Department of Psychology and Institute of Health Sciences (iUNICS), University of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Palma (IdISPa), Mallorca, Spain.

Abstract

A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616.

PMID:
24647551
PMCID:
PMC3960226
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0092269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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