Executive process training in young and old adults
2014 (English)In: Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, ISSN 1382-5585, E-ISSN 1744-4128, Vol. 21, no 5, 577-605 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is a growing body of research on the modifiability of executive functions in different stages of life. Previous studies demonstrate robust training effects but limited transfer in younger and particularly in older adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a theoretically derived intervention for executive functioning, addressing several basic processes (updating, shifting, and inhibition), can induce transfer effects in early and late adulthood. Fifty-nine healthy adults, 29 young and 30 older adults, were randomly assigned to either training or no-contact control groups. The training groups received 15 sessions of executive process training for about 45 min/session during 5 weeks. A test battery including a criterion task and near, intermediate, and far transfer tasks was administered before and after training. Results showed pronounced age-equivalent gains on the criterion task. Near transfer was seen to non-trained updating and inhibition tasks for the young and older trained participants. However, only the young adults showed intermediate transfer to two complex working memory tasks. No far transfer effects were seen for either age group. These findings provide additional evidence for age-related constraints in the ability to generalize acquired executive skills, and specifically show that training of multiple executive processes is not sufficient to foster transfer beyond the very near in older adults.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014. Vol. 21, no 5, 577-605 p.
Cognitive training, Transfer, Executive functions, Working memory, Young and old adults
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91361DOI: 10.1080/13825585.2013.839777ISI: 000338012600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91361DiVA: diva2:737073