Working memory training: taking a step back to retool and create a bridge between clinical and neuroimaging research methods

Pappa, K. , Flegal, K. E. , Baylan, S. and Evans, J. J. (2021) Working memory training: taking a step back to retool and create a bridge between clinical and neuroimaging research methods. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, (doi: 10.1080/23279095.2021.1904243) (PMID:33794120) (Early Online Publication)

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Improvements in patient outcomes and mortality after brain injury alongside increasing ageing population have resulted in an increasing need to develop cognitive interventions for individuals experiencing changes in their cognitive function. One topic of increasing research interest is whether cognitive functions such as attention, memory and executive functioning can be improved through the use of working memory training interventions. Both clinical and neuroimaging researchers are working to evidence this, but their efforts rarely come together. We discuss here several issues that may be hindering progress in this area, including the tools researchers utilize to measure cognition, the choice between employing active or passive control groups, the focus on transfer effects at the expense of well-characterized training effects, and the overall lack of neuroimaging studies in individuals with neurological disorders. We argue that the only way to advance the field is to build bridges between the disciplines of clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. We suggest a multi-level framework to validate the efficacy of working memory interventions and other forms of cognitive training that combine both clinical and neuroimaging approaches. We conclude that in order to move forward we need to form multidisciplinary teams, employ interdisciplinary methods, brain imaging quality rating tools and build national and international collaborations based on open science principles.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We acknowledge grant support by the Neurosciences Foundation, Margaret Murdoch Charitable Trust and Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flegal, Dr Kristin and Pappa, Mrs Aikaterini and Evans, Professor Jonathan and Baylan, Dr Satu
Authors: Pappa, K., Flegal, K. E., Baylan, S., and Evans, J. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Applied Neuropsychology: Adult
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2327-9109
Published Online:01 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
First Published:First published in Applied Neuropsychology: Adult 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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