Cogmed Working Memory Training is an intensive and systematic online-based intervention designed to improve the working memory of people with attention or working memory difficulties.
What is Working Memory?
The Cogmed model offers an effective, safe, non-pharmacological, and cost-effective approach to addressing attention problems. Published, peer-reviewed, and controlled clinical studies have consistently demonstrated that, upon completion of Cogmed Working Memory Training, 80% of participants significantly improve their ability to concentrate and to use complex reasoning skills over the long term. Furthermore, research has indicated that students academically constrained by weak working memory capacity benefit as Cogmed acts as a “primer” for improved learning, allowing the student to build the necessary and fundamental platform needed for learning (e.g., better math and reading comprehension performance).
Can Working Memory Be Improved and How Was the Cogmed Program Developed?
This is a very important question because part of what differentiates Cogmed from many other approaches is the large body of peer-reviewed research that validates its long-term benefits. Torkel Klingberg, MD PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, one of Europe’s leading medical institutes and well known for its affiliation with the Nobel Prize, has conducted research for several years on the neural basis of working memory and working memory deficits in children. Working memory capacity has generally been held to be a fixed property of the individual, but in 1999 Klingberg and his co-workers established that this is not the case and began developing methods for improving working memory.
The outcome of the research of Klingberg and colleagues, in collaboration with Jonas Beckeman and David Skoglund, professional game developers who helped solve technical issues and helped make the training more rewarding, is Cogmed. Since then much research has proven the efficacy of this method. If you would like additional information about Cogmed, and would like to find out more about the original and the ongoing research and the revalidation studies, please visit the Cogmed website at www.cogmed.com
How Does Cogmed Training Work?
There are five steps to the training:
STEP 1: An initial interview session is done to determine if the individual is likely to benefit from the program. It also helps establish whether the patient/patient family has the technical items (computer, monitor and mouse) required for the program. This step may not be needed for individuals with known diagnoses related to attention/working memory and executive functions.
STEP 2: At a start up session, the participant and accompanying adult trainer/parent (in the case of a child/adolescent), learn how the program works and is given a Starter Kit and Training ID for logging in. In addition, pre-rating scales are completed and a time is scheduled for phone calls with the private Cogmed Coach (a qualified professional to support and reinforce best training quality and completion).
STEP 3: The core training of 25 sessions over 5 or 6 weeks then commences. For preschool age children from ages 4 to 6/7 (Cogmed JM), each session lasts 15 minutes. For children from ages 6/7 to 17+ (Cogmed RM) and adults of 18+ (Cogmed QM), each session lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.
- As Cogmed training is home-based, the program can be used and continued by patients living outside of the Nanaimo area. There is some flexibility in the training schedule. At each session, the adult trainer needs to monitor the child, young adolescent, or adult.
- After each training session, results are submitted by internet back to your personal Cogmed Coach, and the software is dynamically adapted so that training becomes gradually more challenging and learning continues. [The Cogmed RM program has an instant reward game: Roboracing.]
- Each participant and the parent or adult monitoring the child at home will receive weekly coaching over the phone with the Personal Coach. The Personal Coach will lead the training, track results, and provide encouragement and motivation. This method has resulted in a compliance rate of over 90%. The program also includes a wrap-up and final follow-up session and all the necessary technical support.
STEP 4: A follow-up session with each participant, their trainer, and the Personal Coach will occur six months following the completion of the Cogmed Training.
STEP 5: Extended Training, consisting of 100 sessions of 15 minutes each, can be used over the course of 12 months. This is provided at no additional cost to the participant. There is no coach support during this phase. In addition, following this Extended Training, Extension Training Plus, consisting of 100 sessions of 15 minutes each, can then be obtained at an additional nominal cost, and will require a new user ID.
For details about the fee for Cogmed and for more information, please contact
Linda Crawford MSc, Registered Psychologist at Campbell & Fairweather Psychology Group, (250) 933 4884 or firstname.lastname@example.org