Training Lab

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The Healthy Aging and Plasticity (h-CAP) study

The main objectives of this project were to understand the influence of lab-based interventions (cognitive training) and real-life experiences (e.g., social or physical activity) on cognitive functioning. More specifically, we aimed to (1) investigate the effectiveness of a working memory training intervention regarding transfer effects, (2) to evaluate the influence of individual differences (e.g., personality, beliefs) in predicting training effectiveness, and (3) to assess the relationship between everyday life activities, cognition and functional ability. The h-CAP study is a large longitudinal training study including over 150 older adults.

Project status: completed in 2018
Contact: Dr. Sabrina Guye

 

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Working memory training

This project investigates whether intensive training with tasks that challenge working memory leads to a general improvement of working-memory capacity that generalizes to new working-memory tasks as well as to tests of fluid intelligence. In a large randomized control study we tested the effectiveness of two working-memory trainings in comparison to an active control group. Both trainings improved performance on the trained tasks, but there was no transfer to other, not-trained tasks. We conclude that working-memory training is not effective.

Project status: completed in 2018
Contact: Dr. Claudia von Bastian

 

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Hotel Plastisse: Development of an iPad-based serious game for cognitive trainings in late life

This research group aimed to design an effective cognitive training intervention for healthy elderly adults. For this purpose, the iPad-based serious game «Hotel Plastisse» was developed, which allows the comparison of the simultaneous training of spatial navigation, visuomotor function and inhibition to the training of each of these functions separately. Further, an intervention study with 84 healthy elderly adults aged 64 to 75 was conducted, in which participants trained on an iPad at home for 50 training sessions. In comparison to the three single-domain training conditions, participants in the multi-domain training condition showed stronger far transfer effects to measures of attentional control

Project status: completed in 2016
Contact: Dr. Christina Röcke

 

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The Object-Location-Memory (OLM) training study

The process-based OLM training study was designed to enhance object location memory in older adults and to potentially transfer to untrained measures. This study provides first empirical evidence that process-based training can enhance the associative memory performance and positively affect untrained episodic memory and reasoning abilities in healthy older adults aged 60 to 75 years. Specifically, the experimental group (n=36) completed 30 sessions of process-based object-location memory training, while the active control group (n=31) practiced visual perception on the same material. Near (spatial episodic memory), intermediate (verbal episodic memory), and far transfer effects (reasoning) were assessed with multiple tasks at four measurements. Linear mixed-effects models revealed transfer effects on spatial episodic memory and reasoning that were still observed 4 months after training.

Project status: completed in 2014
Contact: Dr. Susan Mérillat