“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today permitted marketing of two new devices to assess a patient’s cognitive function immediately after a suspected brain injury or concussion. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and ImPACT Pediatric are the first medical devices permitted [Read more…] about The FDA clears two computerized cognitive tests to assist in medical evaluations following brain injury or concussion
Brain Training May Help Avoid Civilian Casualties (Duke Today):
“Although firing a gun seems like one action, it is made up of many smaller decisions and movements that require coordination between multiple brain areas.
The sudden decision to not shoot, called ‘response inhibition,’ is critical when someone innocent comes into the line of fire. [Read more…] about Study: Training law-enforcement “itchy brains” can reduce shooting-related civilian casualties
“Some researchers think brain games in general—which adapt to each user’s cognitive ability—may one day serve as cognitive diagnostics to [Read more…] about Harnessing brain training games to better research, prevent and treat Alzheimer’s Disease
- “Older adults have a 2.4‑fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline after hospitalization, an increased risk that persisted after adjustment for severity of illness and length of hospital stay, according to a new study.” [Read more…] about Should Hospitals Monitor, and Work to Maintain, Patients’ Cognitive Function?
- “Measuring people’s changes in cognitive abilities is a better predictor of Alzheimer’s disease than changes in biomarkers, researchers from the Benito Menni Complex Assistencial en Salut Mental, Barcelona, Spain, reported in Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA journal.”
- “The investigators used a range of tests to assess [Read more…] about Study: Cognitive Markers or Biomarkers to manage Cognitive Health across the Lifespan?
Working memory is our ability to store and manipulate information for a brief time. It is typically measured by dual-tasks, where the individual has to remember an item while simultaneously processing a sometimes unrelated piece of information. A widely used working memory task is the reading span task where the individual reads a sentence, verifies it, and then recalls the final word. Individual differences in working memory performance are closely related to a range of academic skills such as reading, spelling, comprehension, and mathematics. Crucially, there is emerging research that working memory predicts learning outcomes independently of IQ. One explanation for the importance of working memory in academic attainment is that because it appears to be relatively unaffected by environmental influences, such as parental educational level and financial background, it measures a student’s capacity to acquire knowledge rather than what they have already learned.
However little is known about the consequences of low working memory capacity per se, independent of other associated learning difficulties. In particular, it is not known either what proportion of students with low working memory capacities has significant learning difficulties or what their behavioral characteristics are. The aim of a recent study published in Child Development (reference below) was to provide the first systematic large-scale examination of the cognitive and behavioral characteristics of school-aged students who have been identified solely on the basis of very low working memory scores.
In screening of over 3000 school-aged students in mainstream schools, 1 in 10 was identified as having working memory difficulties. There were several key findings regarding their cognitive skills. The first is that the majority of them performed below age-expected levels in reading and mathematics. This suggests that [Read more…] about 10% Students may have working memory problems: Why does it matter?