Over the last several years, cognitive training has received large amounts of public interest and support because reliably improving cognitive performance would have wide reaching applications in clinical populations, older adults, and the public at large. For example, cognitive training could [Read more…] about Study: For cognitive training to work, it must induce neuroplasticity in brain regions that matter
A recent scientific study is being welcomed as a landmark that shows how fluid intelligence can be improved through training. I interviewed one of the researchers recently (Can Intelligence Be Trained? Martin Buschkuehl shows how), and contributor Dr. Pascale Michelon adds her own take with the great article that follows. Enjoy!
Reference: Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Perrig, W. J. (2008). Improving Fluid Intelligence With Training on Working Memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829–6833
What is intelligence?
Intelligence is a concept difficult to define as it seems to cover many different types of abilities.
One definition dissociates between crystallized intelligence or abilities and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence refers to the knowledge acquired throughout life such as vocabulary. Fluid intelligence is the ability that allows us to adapt to new situations or problems.
Shelley launched a good discussion on The Neuroscience of ADHD in her blog, discussing the situation and providing a technical overview of drug-based interventions. Something I hadn’t heard is that “For example, babies born prematurely face a significantly greater risk of developing ADHD than full-term babies (socioeconomic status was controlled for).”
- “The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study, or PATS, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is the first long-term study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of treating preschoolers with ADHD with behavioral therapy, and then, in some cases, methylphenidate. In the first stage, the children (303 preschoolers with severe ADHD, between the ages of three and five) and their parents participated in a 10-week behavioral therapy course. For one third of the children, ADHD symptoms improved so dramatically with behavior therapy alone that they did not progress to the ADHD medication phase of the study.”
As Shelley’s post and the article explain, drugs do help when used appropriately. Now, they are not the only answer. I am happy to see that behavioral therapy can be as useful when appropriate. Which is not a surprise, given the growing literature on different methods of cognitive training, including therapy and working memory training like the one discussed with Notre Dame’s Bradley Gibson and in our post Cognitive Neuroscience and ADD/ADHD Today.