What is Cogmed and How Does it Help with Working Memory Deficits?

What is Cogmed and How Does it Help with Working Memory Deficits?

Cogmed Working Memory Training is a home-based brain training program developed in 2001 by neuroscientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The program has been employed successfully in Sweden since 2003 and available in the U.S., Canada, and around the world, since 2006.

Its primary purpose is to provide children and adults with attention problems a viable method for elevating their working memory capacity. Working memory is what affords people the ability to locate and retrieve information instantaneously. A strong working memory allows for an efficient sense of time and an improved ability to multi-task.

When working memory is improved so are a variety of abilities that may now be a source of frustration. Working memory deficits often affect a person’s ability to

  • follow instructions
  • finish tasks
  • retain information for layered or complex skill building (reading, arithmetic)
  • filter outside or irrelevant distraction
Brain Image

In an effort to help reduce the negative effects of insufficient working memory and help participants function more independently, Cogmed employs a training system clinically proven to foster real results.

The comprehensive, at-home nature of the Cogmed program makes training available anytime. Users typically train five days a week for five weeks. No other therapy or office visits are required or necessary.

The software itself is “smart” as it automatically raises the level of difficulty and systematically increases the user’s ability to pay attention. There is a human interactive element built in to Cogmed as well. Trainees benefit from a personal coach who instructs, analyzes progress, and becomes an important source of encouragement by phone each week.

In an interview with ADDitude, a comprehensive website devoted to all things concerning attention deficit disorder, Bradley Gibson, Ph.D., lead author of a Cogmed-oriented Notre Dame study, and Barbara Ingersoll, Ph.D., a behavioral medicine associate professor at West Virginia University, note, “ When you improve working memory, you improve fluid IQ — the ability to solve problems or adapt to situations as they occur. Most people who complete memory training become more alert to their surroundings. They are also more aware of social cues.”

Recent studies also show that Cogmed training supports and increases participant concentration, impulse control, and assists trainee ability to employ more varied and complex reasoning skills, helping to overcome the deficits inherent to attention disorders.

In 2001, researchers at the Karolinska Institute found that working memory was not the permanent set of qualities once believed. Their study determined that through improved focused training, significant gains could be made. The exercises used were able to elevate focus for both children and adults. Cogmed Working Memory Training has been tested on a variety of people, including children and adults with attention problems, brain injury, and those simply wanting to improve daily functioning.

According to published, peer-reviewed, and controlled clinical reports by Cogmed training facilitators, the program has seen that “80% of participants have significantly improved their ability to concentrate and use complex reasoning skills over the long term.” Cogmed Working Memory Training is scientifically supported and its evidence is widely published in respected professional reviews and journals. Leading universities around the country are also conducting important, on-going research in this relatively young field of study.

More and more, positive results are indicating the benefits of training the working memory.  Learn 2 Focus is excited to now offer virtual Cogmed programs to suit all ages.  Whether you are 4 or 100, see what improved working memory can do for you!

For school-aged children and teens, Cogmed results clearly confirm that when working memory is well-trained and strong, academic performance, particularly in math and reading disciplines, will show measurable progress and behavioral problems will start to decrease.

Consider how much your child stands to gain from Cogmed. Try a revolutionary and innovative way to put your child in prime position to expand memory, thinking, and personal growth