The Importance Of Online Cognitive Training Programs

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Perhaps one of the diseases most feared by the older population is dementia, but more specifically Alzheimer’s Disease. Characterized by confusion, difficulty completing simple tasks, personality changes, hallucinations, and memory loss, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that often leaves people upset, confused and completely dependent on others to survive. With a rapidly growing older population worried about memory loss, online cognitive training programs have recently exploded across the internet. NeuroNation, Luminosity, My Brain Training and many other sites promise to boost memory, attention, and other cognitive skills that could be lost to the aging process. While research has shown that engaging in such tasks does help the …show more content…

While they hypothesized that training can improve areas of functioning, they also stated that the skills developed from it cannot be transferred to untrained tasks. Participants were to practice reasoning, memory, planning, attention and visuospatial skills over the course of six weeks, again with the level of difficulty increasing throughout the regimen. Although the participants were able to improve specifically what they practiced, these improvements were not shown to transfer to other untrained tasks (Owen et al., 2010). Both teams present a thorough research study, however a more compelling argument was made in “Putting brain training to the test,” suggesting that while online cognitive training may improve cognitive function, those learned skills cannot be beneficially transferred to untrained tasks which in turn, does not lead to an overall improvement. The study discussed in “The Effect of an Online Cognitive Training Package in Healthy Older Adults: An Online Randomized Controlled Trial” presented several limitations that worked to decrease the legitimacy of it’s argument. The study was biased towards those who acquired education and had access to computers, thus and as stated by the authors, the results cannot be generalized to other populations, which is

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