Memory Training Software.
Have you heard the buzz about improving memory with memory software? In the past five years, there has been a proliferation of these brain training programs. What’s the real scoop? Do they really show you how to improve memory?
Professionals who are involved with remediation of brain injury and dementia treatment have been aware of this approach of memory training software for some time. Using repeated practice and drills, therapist have been helping people with brain injuries for many years. Thesecompensatory methods have been applied not only to help improve memory but also attention, processing speed and problem-solving. These methods have been used to enhance
With the proliferation of personal computer technology, drill and practice became computer based. In the mid- to late 1980’s, drawing from the work of the famous neuroscientist Luria (1963) and others, researchers began using computers with memory training software and the processing of information in the brains of those who had acquired brain injuries and those that need dementia treatment.
The most frequently trained cognitive functions included attention, concentration, short- and long-term memory, reasoning, eye-hand coordination, and visual processing of information in space (Bracy, 1986).
Smith et al. (2009) reported a multisite randomized controlled double-blind trial with two treatment groups on how to improve memory with computer training. The study involved a large sample of 487 adults age 65 an older. The research showed that brain fitness such as memory and attention could be improved.
In the study, people who did not have problems with memory were able to improve their memory and attention over those who did not get the computer training. They had a total of 40 hours of training for 8 weeks in brain fitness and how to improve memory.
What does this mean? Simply put, senior citizens who were "normal" were able to improve there attention and memory with computer software brain training.
There are a variety of these programs now available for rehabilitation of people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), dementia, stroke or other acquired brain injuries. Some of the programs are being utilized by major medical centers around the world.
Importantly, these programs have also proven to be helpful for people whodo not have an injured brain. They can help people develop greater performance (Peak Performance) in school, business or everyday living. Also, some researchers believe they can help prevent memory loss or early onset of memory problems.
Bracy, O.L. (1986). Cognitive rehabilitation: A process approach. Cognitive Rehabilitation,
Luria, A.R. (1963). Restoration of Brain Function after Brain Injury. New York: MacMillan.
Smith, G. E., Houston, P., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R. F., Mahncke, H. W. and Zelinski, E. M. (2009. A
Cognitive Training Program Based on Principles of Brain Plasticity: Results from the Improvement in Memory with
Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society(57) 4, 594–603.
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