Science Current Events | Science News |

Scientists report promising new direction for cognitive rehabilitation in the elderly

August 21, 2012

Research has found that declines in temporal information processing (TIP), the rate at which auditory information is processed, underlies the progressive loss of function across multiple cognitive systems in the elderly, including new learning, memory, perception, attention, thinking, motor control, problem solving, and concept formation. In a new study, scientists have found that elderly subjects who underwent temporal training improved not only the rate at which they processed auditory information, but also in other cognitive areas. The study is published in the current issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

"Our study showed for the first time significant benefits of temporal training on broad aspects of cognitive function in the elderly. The results were long-lasting, with effects confirmed 18 months after the training," says lead investigator Elzbieta Szelag, Professor, Head of Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology (, and Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (, Warsaw, Poland.

Thirty subjects between 65 and 75 years of age were randomly assigned to three groups. One group received temporal training using Fast ForWord Language® (FFW), a program comprised of several computer games designed to improve memory, attention, and sequencing abilities. The program was developed to help children who have trouble reading, writing, and learning. The second group participated in non-temporal training by playing common computer games. The third group, the control, underwent no training.

Prior to the training, all of the subjects went through a number of tests to measure their cognitive functioning. Two tasks assessed TIP by measuring sequencing abilities. Specifically, at which inter-stimulus-interval subjects could identify the order of two stimuli presented in rapid sequence, i.e. which of two tones was higher or lower, or whether they heard a sound in the right or left ear first. Three aspects of attention were assessed: the ability to sustain attention over a longer period of time (vigilance), the ability to pay attention to multiple processes (divided attention), and the ability to maintain a high level of attention in anticipation of a test stimulus (alertness). Short-term memory was assessed with tests to evaluate working memory span, the ability to match complex patterns, and the ability to recognize a pattern seen earlier.

Each subject in the temporal training group started with exercises from the basic module of FFW. When they reached 100% complete for each exercise, they moved onto an intermediate program, and then an advanced program. They trained for an hour a day, four days a week, for eight weeks. The non-temporal training group played computer games such as Solitaire or Internet games such as Mahjong for the same amount of time. The control group received no training but was tested before and after the eight-week period.

At the end of the training period, cognitive functioning was re-assessed. Prior to training, no significant differences were found among the three groups. After the training, improved temporal information processing was found on the tone task in the temporal training group. It was accompanied by improvements in some aspects of attention and short-term memory. In contrast, the non-temporal training group's attentional and memory resources scores remained at the pre-training level, while only the second measure of temporal information processing improved. Changes in the control group were nonsignificant.

The temporal training group was tested again 18 months after the training completion. The positive effects remained stable. TIP, divided attention, matching complex patterns, and working memory span remained at a similar level as in the post-training assessment. Although vigilance of attention declined from the post-training assessment, for all measures the results were not worse than in the pre-training assessment. "Although FFW does not train other cognitive functions directly, attention and short-term memory resources were necessary to perform the training tasks correctly," explain Professor Szelag and Dr Skolimowska. "To succeed in the FFW games, the temporal skills had to be accompanied by efficient basic cognitive processes."

Professor Szelag concludes, "These results show a new impact of temporal training on age-related cognitive decline in the senior population. Moreover, they foster a greater understanding of the relationships between timing and cognition, and they show new possibilities for the application of temporal training." On the basis of these results the Laboratory of Neuropsychology has recently initiated an innovative rehabilitation computer program that addresses improvement of a broad range of cognitive functions in children and adults.

IOS Press

Related Temporal Information Current Events and Temporal Information News Articles

Oceans in the brain: How we remember different contexts
When we misplace something, retracing our steps often helps us remember where we put it because environmental contexts are strongly linked to memory formation. How does this happen?

The sense of smell uses fast dynamics to encode odors
Neuroscientists from the John B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale School of Medicine have discovered that mice can detect minute differences in the temporal dynamics of the olfactory system, according to research that will be published on December 16 in the open access journal PLOS Biology.

In-brain monitoring shows memory network
Working with patients with electrodes implanted in their brains, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have shown for the first time that areas of the brain work together at the same time to recall memories.

When neurons fire up: Study sheds light on rhythms of the brain
In our brains, groups of neurons fire up simultaneously for just milliseconds at a time, in random rhythms, similar to twinkling lightning bugs in our backyards. New research from neuroscientists at Indiana University and the University of Montreal provides a model -- a rhyme and reason -- for this random synchronization.

Children's ability to describe past event develops over time
In the first study to examine how children talk about the time-related features of their experiences--when, how often, in what order events occur--researchers have found intriguing changes as children grow older.
More Temporal Information Current Events and Temporal Information News Articles

Spatial Temporal Information Systems: An Ontological Approach using STK®

Spatial Temporal Information Systems: An Ontological Approach using STK®
by Linda M. McNeil (Author), T.S. Kelso (Author)

Designed to be a high-level, approachable resource for engineers who need further insight into spatial temporal information systems from an ontological perspective, Spatial Temporal Information Systems: An Ontological Approach using STK® explains the dynamics of objects interaction from signal analysis to trajectory design, spatial modeling, and other spatial analytics by using STK®, which is a general-purpose modeling and analysis application for any type of space, defense, or intelligence system. Building a foundation to begin the study of spatial temporal information systems, the book details a form of analysis that is a powerful tool for modeling, engineering, and operations of space, cyberspace, satellites, missile defense, and electronic systems. It discusses the many applications...

Temporal Geographical Information Systems: Advanced Functions for Field-Based Applications

Temporal Geographical Information Systems: Advanced Functions for Field-Based Applications
by George Christakos (Author), Patrick Bogaert (Author), Marc Serre (Author)

The book focuses on the development of advanced functions for field-based Temporal Geographical Information Systems (TGIS). These fields describe natural, epidemiological, economic, and social phenomena distributed across space and time. The book is organized around 4 main themes: concepts, mathematical tools, computer programs, and applications.
The reader is also familiarized with the TGIS toolbox of advanced functions and the associated library of comprehensive computer programs, BMElib.

Temporal Information Systems in Medicine

Temporal Information Systems in Medicine
by Carlo Combi (Author), Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou (Author), Yuval Shahar (Author)

Temporal Information Systems in Medicine introduces the engineering of information systems for medically-related problems and applications. The chapters are organized into four parts; fundamentals, temporal reasoning & maintenance in medicine, time in clinical tasks, and the display of time-oriented clinical information. The chapters are self-contained with pointers to other relevant chapters or sections in this book when necessary. Time is of central importance and is a key component of the engineering process for information systems. This book is designed as a secondary text or reference book for upper -undergraduate level students and graduate level students concentrating on computer science, biomedicine and engineering. Industry professionals and researchers working in health care...

Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations

Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations
by Isabel Meirelles (Author)

The visualization process doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it is grounded in principles and methodologies of design, cognition, perception, and human-computer-interaction that are combined to one’s personal knowledge and creative experiences. Design for Information critically examines other design solutions —current and historic— helping you gain a larger understanding of how to solve specific problems. This book is designed to help you foster the development of a repertoire of existing methods and concepts to help you overcome design problems. Learn the ins and outs of data visualization with this informative book that provides you with a series of current visualization case studies. The visualizations discussed are analyzed for their design principles and methods, giving you...

Temporal Information Processing in the Nervous System: Special Reference to Dyslexia and Dysphasia (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)

Temporal Information Processing in the Nervous System: Special Reference to Dyslexia and Dysphasia (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)
by Paula Tallal (Author), Albert M. Galaburda (Author), Curt Von Euler (Editor)

Book by Tallal, Paula, Galaburda, Albert M.

Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data

Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data
by Noel Cressie (Author), Christopher K. Wikle (Author)

Winner of the 2013 DeGroot Prize.

A state-of-the-art presentation of spatio-temporal processes, bridging classic ideas with modern hierarchical statistical modeling concepts and the latest computational methods Noel Cressie and Christopher K. Wikle, are also winners of the 2011 PROSE Award in the Mathematics category, for the book “Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data” (2011), published by John Wiley and Sons. (The PROSE awards, for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, are given by the Association of American Publishers, the national trade association of the US book publishing industry.) Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data has now been reprinted with small corrections to the text and the bibliography. The overall content and pagination of the new printing remains the...

Time Granularities in Databases, Data Mining, and Temporal Reasoning

Time Granularities in Databases, Data Mining, and Temporal Reasoning
by Claudio Bettini (Author), Sushil Jajodia (Author), Xiaoyang Sean Wang (Author)

Calendar and time units and specialized units, such as business days and academic years, play a major role in a wide range of information system applications. System support for reasoning about these units, called granularities, is important for the efficient design, use, and implementation of such applications. This book deals with several aspects of temporal information and provides a unifying model for granularities. Practitioners can learn about critical aspects that must be taken into account when designing and implementing databases supporting temporal information.

Spatio-Temporal Databases: The CHOROCHRONOS Approach (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)

Spatio-Temporal Databases: The CHOROCHRONOS Approach (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
by Manolis Koubarakis (Editor), Timos Sellis (Editor), Andrew U. Frank (Editor), Stéphane Grumbach (Editor), Ralf Hartmut Güting (Editor), Christian S. Jensen (Editor), Nikos Lorentzos (Editor), Yannis Manolopoulos (Editor), Enrico Nardelli (Editor), Barbara Pernici (Editor), Hans-Jörg Schek (Editor), Michel Scholl (Editor), Babis Theodoulidis (Editor), Nectaria Tryfona (Editor)

A summary of research carried out in the CHOROCHRONOS Project, established as an EC-funded Training and Mobility Research Network with the objective of studying the design, implementation, and application of spatio-temporal database management systems. The nine coherent chapters by leading research groups are written in a tutorial style, making the research contributions of the project accessible to a wider audience interested in spatio-temporal information processing. Following an introductory overview, the book presents chapters on ontologies for spatio-temporal databases, conceptual models, spatio-temporal models and languages, access methods and query processing, architectures and implementation of spatio-temporal DBMS, interactive spatio-temporal documents, and future...

Temporal Verification of Reactive Systems: Safety

Temporal Verification of Reactive Systems: Safety
by Zohar Manna (Author), Amir Pnueli (Author)

This book is about the verification of reactive systems. A reactive system is a system that maintains an ongoing interaction with its environment, as opposed to computing some final value on termination. The family of reactive systems includes many classes of programs whose correct and reliable construction is con­ sidered to be particularly challenging, including concurrent programs, embedded and process control programs, and operating systems. Typical examples of such systems are an air traffic control system, programs controlling mechanical devices such as a train, or perpetually ongoing processes such as a nuclear reactor. With the expanding use of computers in safety-critical areas, where failure is potentially disastrous, correctness is crucial. This has led to the introduction of...

The Limits of Attention: Temporal Constraints on Human Information Processing

The Limits of Attention: Temporal Constraints on Human Information Processing
by Kimron Shapiro (Editor)

For psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists interested in 'attention', the debate over the temporal limits of our attentional mechanisms is one of great importance and topicality. In The limits of attention, Kimron Shapiro has brought together a high quality team of attention researchers to discuss the issues key to this area of attention research. The result is an important book for cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and philosophers.

© 2016