Please help us recruit 30,000 adults for a UC Citizen Science project on cognitive training

Word­cloud derived from the two papers ref­er­enced in this blog (by Susanne Jaeg­gi & Aaron Seitz)

How can we cut through the con­tro­ver­sies around brain train­ing and unlock the excit­ing poten­tial as sug­gest­ed by the numer­ous pub­lished stud­ies show­ing exam­ples of cog­ni­tive train­ing benefits?

Our approach is to use larg­er, more rep­re­sen­ta­tive datasets to uncov­er the most rel­e­vant ingre­di­ents that may work across dif­fer­ent inter­ven­tion types, illus­trat­ing how their impact may vary across the diverse range of indi­vid­u­als par­tic­i­pat­ing in such large tri­als.

While most stud­ies focus on the aver­age par­tic­i­pant, our lat­est paper pro­vides an impor­tant exam­ple of how, even with­in a sin­gle study, the out­comes can dif­fer wide­ly across participants.

We found that in order for par­tic­i­pants to show broad ben­e­fits as a result of cog­ni­tive train­ing (i.e., far trans­fer), they first need to improve with­in the trained domain (i.e., show near trans­fer). While this may seem to be a com­mon sense obser­va­tion, it is a crit­i­cal step in clar­i­fy­ing that while not every­one seems to be able to improve on the train­ing task, there are meth­ods to account for this vari­ance while still rec­og­niz­ing the train­ing ben­e­fits expe­ri­enced by oth­er par­tic­i­pants in the same study. As such we note that our emerg­ing field is only begin­ning to under­stand the fac­tors that medi­ate the poten­tial ben­e­fits, and the bar­ri­ers pre­vent­ing them.

That’s where Citizen Science comes in:

In our ongo­ing large-scale study we aim to recruit 30,000 adults who are moti­vat­ed and will­ing to help us bet­ter under­stand the fac­tors that under­lie learn­ing out­comes using a vari­ety of train­ing par­a­digms and out­come mea­sures. Our endeav­or will ulti­mate­ly con­tribute to the per­son­al­iza­tion of cog­ni­tive train­ing so that, hope­ful­ly, any­one who would like to improve their cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing will be able to choose the approach that may fit them best.

To accom­plish this, we need your help.

We have oppor­tu­ni­ties for every­one and also, specif­i­cal­ly, for research partners:

If you are inter­est­ed in try­ing out work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing for your­self, vol­un­teers are encour­aged to sign-up at our web-por­tal HERE, where you can also learn more about the ongo­ing project.

For sci­en­tists inter­est­ed in col­lab­o­rat­ing and help­ing car­ry out this momen­tous research project, we invite you to join our new Cog­ni­tive Health Ini­tia­tive Research Part­ner­ship. Through this new part­ner­ship mod­el we can pro­vide resources that can sup­port fac­ul­ty, prac­ti­tion­ers, stu­dents, and oth­er sci­en­tists to advance the research agen­da, con­tribute nov­el research ques­tions, and be sup­port­ed in advanc­ing them. If inter­est­ed, please con­tact us HERE.

To Learn More:

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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