Feasibility of using a computer-assisted working memory training program for healthy older women
Interventions for age-associated cognitive impairment are of increasing significance as populations age. Using N-back and memory strategy enhancement, the present study aimed to explore the feasibility of using, and outcomes of a working memory (WM) training program on visuospatial and verbal WM in older female adults. Older women from two comparable local health centers who scored 26 and higher on Mini-Mental State Examination were invited to participate. Women at one center (experimental group) received three sessions on memory enhancement techniques and a computerized training program with N-back. Women at the other center (control group) received three sessions on memory and aging and training on using various features of cellphones. All participants completed the Corsi Block Task and Digit Span Task at pre- and post-training. The experimental group showed significant improvements in their visuospatial and verbal WM compared to the control group. These findings support the brain's plasticity in the elderly. WM training for improving cognitive performance in older adults has potential and should be further investigated.