Effects of working memory training on children born preterm

Shuk Ching Clara Lee, Jacqueline Pei, Gail Andrew, Kimberly A Kerns, Carmen Rasmussen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers have reported benefits of working memory training in various populations, however, the training gains in preterm population is still inadequately studied. This study aimed to investigate the transfer and lasting effects of an online working memory training program on a group of preterm children aged between 4 and 6 years (mean gestational age = 28.3 weeks; mean birth weight = 1153 grams). Children were asked to perform the Cogmed JM at home for approximately 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Their nontrained working memory and attention were assessed pre-training, post-training, and at 5-week follow-up. Parent ratings on children's executive functions were obtained at the three time points. Results revealed that significant improvements in verbal working memory was emerging in preterm children at 5-week follow-up, while significant gains in visuospatial working memory was found post-training and at 5-week follow-up in age-matched term-born children. These results indicated that working memory training has benefits on preterm children; however, the gains are different from those observed in term-born children. No significant differences in attention and parent-rated EF were found in either group across time. The possible explanations for the training benefits observed in preterm children were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Child
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cogmed
  • preterm
  • verbal working memory
  • visuospatial working memory
  • working memory training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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