Nav: Home

Scientists report promising new direction for cognitive rehabilitation in the elderly

August 20, 2012

Amsterdam, NL, August 20, 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 (www.nencki.gov.pl), and Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (www.swps.pl), 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.
-end-


IOS Press

Related Memory Articles:

Taking photos of experiences boosts visual memory, impairs auditory memory
A quick glance at any social media platform will tell you that people love taking photos of their experiences -- whether they're lying on the beach, touring a museum, or just waiting in line at the grocery store.
Think you know how to improve your memory? Think again
Research from Katherine Duncan at the University of Toronto suggests we may have to rethink how we improve memory.
Improving memory with magnets
The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives -- without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic.
Who has the better memory -- men or women?
In the battle of the sexes, women have long claimed that they can remember things better and longer than men can.
New study of the memory through optogenetics
A collaboration between Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Harvard University pioneers the increase of memory using optogenetics in mice in Spain.
Peppermint tea can help improve your memory
Peppermint tea can improve long-term and working memory and in healthy adults.
A new glimpse into working memory
MIT study finds bursts of neural activity as the brain holds information in mind, overturns a long-held model.
Memory ensembles
For over forty years, neuro-scientists have been interested in the biological mechanisms underlying the storage of the information that our brain records every day.
What is your memory style?
Why is it that some people have richly detailed recollection of past experiences (episodic memory), while others tend to remember just the facts without details (semantic memory)?
Watching a memory form
Neuroscientists at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science have discovered a novel mechanism for memory formation.

Related Memory Reading:

Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive
by Kevin Horsley (Author)

Kevin Horsley Broke a World Memory Record in 2013...

And You're About to Learn How to Use His Memory Strategies to Learn Faster, Be More Productive and Achieve More Success

Most people never tap into 10% of their potential for memory. In this book, you're about to learn:

How the World's Top Memory Experts Concentrate and Remember Any Information at Will, and How You Can Too

Do you ever feel like you're too busy, too stressed or just too distracted to concentrate and get work done? In Unlimited Memory, you'll learn how the world's best memory masters... View Details


Memory Rescue: Supercharge Your Brain, Reverse Memory Loss, and Remember What Matters Most
by Dr. Daniel G. Amen (Author)

A proven program from #1 New York Times bestselling author and brain researcher Dr. Daniel Amen to help you change your brain and improve your memory today!
Brain imaging research demonstrates that memory loss actually starts in the brain decades before you have any symptoms. Learn the actions you can take to help not just prevent memory loss later in life . . . but to begin restoring the memory you may have already lost.

Expert physician Dr. Amen reveals how a multipronged strategy―including dietary changes, physical and mental exercises, and spiritual... View Details


The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
by Harry Lorayne (Author), Jerry Lucas (Author)

Unleash the hidden power of your mind through Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas's simple, fail-safe memory system, and you can become more effective, more imaginative, and more powerful, at work, at school, in sports and play. Discover how easy it is to: file phone numbers, data, figures, and appointments right in your head; learn foreign words and phrases with ease; read with speed--and greater understanding; shine in the classroom--and shorten study hours; dominate social situations, and more.
From the Paperback edition. View Details


Memory
by Alan Baddeley (Author), Michael W. Eysenck (Author), Michael C. Anderson (Author)

This best-selling textbook presents a comprehensive and accessible overview of the study of memory. Written by three of the world’s leading researchers in the field, it contains everything the student needs to know about the scientific approach to memory and its applications.

Each chapter of the book is written by one of the three authors, an approach which takes full advantage of their individual expertise and style, creating a more personal and accessible text. This enhances students’ enjoyment of the book, allowing them to share the authors’ own fascination with human... View Details


In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's
by Joseph Jebelli (Author)

For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases--Alzheimer's--from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017

Named "Science Book of the Month" by Bookseller

Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide -- there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists... View Details


The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory
by Dr. Julia Shaw (Author)

Memories make us who we are—yet the truth is they are far from being the accurate record we like to think they are. We can all admit to occasional memory lapses, but what if we have the potential for more profound errors of memory, even verging on outright fabrication and self-deception? Forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr. Julia Shaw uses the latest research to show the astonishing variety of ways in which our brains can be led astray. She shows why we can misappropriate other people's memories, believing them to be our own. She explains how police officers can imprison an innocent... View Details


Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer (Author)

The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory

An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an... View Details


In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind
by Eric R. Kandel (Author)

“A stunning book.”―Oliver Sacks

Memory binds our mental life together. We are who we are in large part because of what we learn and remember. But how does the brain create memories? Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel intertwines the intellectual history of the powerful new science of the mind―a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology―with his own personal quest to understand memory. A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory brings readers from Kandel's childhood in... View Details


The Memory of Butterflies: A Novel
by Grace Greene (Author)

To keep a devastating family secret from being revealed, a young mother’s desperate lies could end up destroying everything, and everyone, she loves. The Memory of Butterflies is a poignant story of family and forgiveness—of knowing when to let go and when to hold each other close.

Hannah Cooper’s daughter is leaving for college soon. The change is bittersweet. A single mother since the age of eighteen, Hannah isn’t eager to confront the pain of being alone, but she’s determined not to let her own hang-ups keep Ellen from the future she deserves. As Ellen’s... View Details


Detroit Memories
by Detroit Free Press (Author)

The Detroit Free Press is proud to present a beautiful, hardcover historic retrospective of Detroit. This collector's book features memories of Detroit from the late 1800s through 1939 in stunning historic photographs. We are excited to partner with the Detroit Public Library, the Walter P. Reuther Library (WSU), and the Detroit Historical Society on this project and will feature images from their wonderful archives. We will also feature images from you, our readers, in this unique, heirloom-quality, coffee-table book that truly captures the rich heritage of our city. View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Going Undercover
Are deception and secrecy categorically wrong? Or can they be a necessary means to an end? This hour, TED speakers share stories of going undercover to explore unknown territory, and find the truth. Guests include poet and activist Theo E.J. Wilson, journalist Jamie Bartlett, counter-terrorism expert Mubin Shaikh, and educator Shabana Basij-Rasikh.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#452 Face Recognition and Identity
This week we deep dive into the science of how we recognize faces and why some of us are better -- or worse -- at this than others. We talk with Brad Duchaine, Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College, about both super recognizers and face blindness. And we speak with Matteo Martini, Psychology Lecturer at the University of East London, about a study looking at twins who have difficulty telling which one of them a photo was of. Charity Links: Union of Concerned Scientists Evidence For Democracy Sense About Science American Association for the Advancement of Science Association for Women...