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Enhance cognitive capabilities

Enhance cognitive capabilities

In addition, basic, cognittive Enhance cognitive capabilities activities and exercises High caffeine pills further xognitive cognitive fitness. Enhance cognitive capabilities up now and get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness. Some types of cognitive training conducted in a research setting also seem to have benefits.

Enhance cognitive capabilities -

The differences between pre- and post-test overall scores and scores on each question were analyzed. The hypothesis that participants in the treatment group would show greater self-reported improvements in cognition and emotional status relative to control participants was tested via an ANCOVA model measuring the effect of group treatment vs.

control on the change in average survey score, controlling for average pre-test score. These results indicate that, overall, the cognitive training treatment was more effective than the crosswords control for improving self-reported real-world cognition and emotional status.

For all nine questions, both groups tended to report improvements following study participation, compared to the pre-test. The changes were significant for both groups on all questions except for question 4 memory for a new name.

Results for each question are presented in Table 3. The three largest group differences were on questions 1, 3 and 6, all of which were related to concentration. The findings of this study are consistent with the extant literature on cognitive training that shows that progressively challenging, targeted cognitive training can be an effective tool for improving core cognitive abilities including speed of processing [ 13 ], working memory [ 46 ], and fluid reasoning [ 10 ].

The results presented here extend previous findings by demonstrating that a cognitive training program targeting a variety of cognitive capacities with different exercises can be more effective than crossword puzzles at improving a broad range of cognitive abilities.

In addition, improvement on the overall measure of cognitive function used as the primary outcome measure in this study—the Grand Index for the assessment battery—was more than twice as large in the cognitive training group as it was in the crossword puzzles control group.

Thus, for improving a variety of core cognitive abilities, the treatment used in this trial was more effective than crossword puzzles.

Another approach to appreciating the magnitude of these results is to contextualize them in the distribution of scores on the outcome measures. We observe that participants in the training group improve by 2. Given that the scores are scaled on a mean ± 15 sd scale, we can evaluate how far an average participant would move within the population distribution for their age based on moving a given number of points.

In this case, 2. This is a potentially meaningful move within the distribution. A significant group-by-active-days interaction was observed in this study, such that an additional active day engaging with the cognitive training intervention was related to larger gains on the cognitive battery composite score compared to an additional active day engaging with crossword puzzles Fig 4.

This suggests that additional training could lead to larger gains. While it is unlikely that the linear relation holds indefinitely i.

In addition to the enhanced performance observed in the cognitive training group on the neuropsychological measures of cognitive function, participants in this group also self-reported experiencing benefits that were significantly greater than those reported by participants in the active control.

These participant-reported improvements were particularly strong on questions related to the ability to concentrate. These results suggest that participants in the treatment group experienced benefits from the training in their everyday lives.

Crossword puzzles were chosen as the active control because they are commonly believed to be a cognitively stimulating activity that is good for brain health [ 31 , 32 ].

This is important because it has been suggested that belief in the efficacy of a training intervention could affect effort and performance on testing outcomes [ 47 ].

While not as large as the gains seen in the treatment group, participants in the crosswords control group also showed improvements in cognitive performance.

Without a no-contact control group in this study, it is not possible to conclusively determine whether these improvements in the active control condition were due to practice effects, placebo effects, real treatment effects, or some combination of these. Further study will be needed to better understand the benefits of crossword puzzles for maintenance and enhancement of cognition.

It is worth noting that participants in the crosswords group improved slightly more than the cognitive training group on a measure of grammatical reasoning. There are several reasons why the treatment program might have outperformed crossword puzzles in enhancing cognitive function.

First, the cognitive training program is specifically targeted to core cognitive functions. This distinguishes the treatment from crossword puzzles, which are not designed with the goal of cognitive enhancement. Another central feature of the cognitive training program studied here is that it is progressively challenging —that is, many of the tasks explicitly increase in difficulty as the individual improves, while others encourage the individual to perform at threshold by rewarding increasingly faster and more accurate performance see S1 Appendix.

This follows a long-established tenet in the psychological literature, that learning conditions are optimized when the task is challenging, but not prohibitively difficult [ 48 , 49 ]. Task variety and novelty are also potentially important. In the case of crossword puzzles, participants are primarily involved in vocabulary retrieval, challenging a more limited set of neural pathways.

In the cognitive training program studied here, participants are challenged to engage with a variety of cognitive tasks that challenge different neural processing systems and do so in different ways. This variety limits the opportunity to solve the tasks with a single task-specific strategy, thus encouraging the learning of new strategies and the development of new neural connections.

We noted that there have been several studies that have reported not finding benefits from cognitive training. The only other similarly powered study that did not find positive results is a study that recruited 11, participants through a BBC television show and collected data online [ 17 ].

The authors concluded that brain training had no measureable benefits. Several key aspects of that study differ from the one presented here. First, neither of the two treatment conditions they used had been studied empirically prior to that experiment.

As we demonstrate in this study, not all cognitively stimulating activities are equally effective for enhancing cognition, and it is possible that other programs not examined in their study are more effective.

Also, the average amount of training exposure in the BBC study was less than half of that in this study. This is an important distinction as results of this study indicate that amount of training is related to the magnitude of gains in cognitive performance Fig 4.

Our results represent statistically significant improvements in cognitive processes through training. This study included a sufficiently large number of participants and enough training to reliably detect these effects.

As has been noted previously [ 50 ], most cognitive training studies that have shown null results have not been powered in such a way that either a positive or a null outcome would be informative, and often include quite short training periods. In the broader context of factors influencing cognitive processes i.

Further research will be needed to understand how the current effects extrapolate over much longer training periods. In this study, There was little difference in dropout rates between the two groups, and supplemental analyses S1 File that equated the engagement characteristics of completers from both groups demonstrated that these differences in dropout between the two groups could not explain the results.

This study utilized an entirely online design. The online methodology is ecologically valid, since most users in the real world experience the program at home or in some other personal environment outside a laboratory or clinic.

In traditional laboratory-based training studies, participants experience considerable contact with study personnel. Contact with study personnel may lead to lower rates of loss to follow up. However, this personal interaction introduces a variable that could affect the results and is not reflective of how most normal, healthy adults use these programs.

A possible limitation of the current study is that it does not isolate specific mechanisms. For example, adaptive difficulty may play an important role in driving the transfer of training [ 51 ].

Many of the tasks in the cognitive training program were explicitly adaptive i. The two conditions differed on other dimensions as well. The cognitive training program incorporated a variety of tasks that targeted specific cognitive functions, while the crosswords condition did not.

Future research is needed to more fully elucidate the relative contributions of particular components of activities that lead to improvements in cognitive performance. Future studies could also extend the cognitive domains tested.

Our neuropsychological assessment battery was relatively comprehensive across a variety of domains, but not every possible dimension of cognition was addressed. For example, this battery did not include any assessment explicitly targeting learning e.

Research on training to improve cognitive skills is not complete, and there remain many open questions. The ability to efficiently collect large data sets in controlled experiments over the Internet may prove crucial to answering the open questions related to cognitive training in the future.

The first supplementary analysis is an ANCOVA analysis that includes participants assigned to the control group who engaged in some cognitive training during the study period. The second supplementary analysis describes how engagement time is estimated in the two conditions and provides a paired-matching analysis that controls for the total time spent engaging with the two conditions.

The third supplementary analysis includes an outlier removal procedure. We would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the dedicated people who have worked to create Lumosity. We would like to thank Kacey Ballard Corrado and Tyler Hinman for their work to facilitate the creation of the crossword puzzles system that was used as the control condition.

We would also like to thank Sylvia Bunge, Murali Doraiswamy, Jerri Edwards, Amit Etkin, Anett Gyurak, Christine Hooker, Joseph Ventura, and Mike Walker for their thoughtful comments on the manuscript.

Conceived and designed the experiments: JLH FF RAN MET DAS MS. Performed the experiments: JLH FF DAS MS. Analyzed the data: DAS KK. Wrote the paper: JLH RAN MET DAS KK FF MS. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Article Authors Metrics Comments Media Coverage Reader Comments Figures.

Abstract Background A variety of studies have demonstrated gains in cognitive ability following cognitive training interventions. Methods The present study evaluated an online cognitive training program comprised of 49 exercises targeting a variety of cognitive capacities.

Conclusion Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of tasks targeted to different cognitive functions can show transfer to a wide range of untrained measures of cognitive performance.

Trial Registration ClinicalTrials. gov NCT Greenlee, University of Regensburg, GERMANY Received: March 4, ; Accepted: July 8, ; Published: September 2, Copyright: © Hardy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited Data Availability: The study data for the statistical comparisons of outcomes for cognitive training relative to crosswords are in a CSV file in Supporting Information.

Introduction Recent evidence suggests that engaging in cognitively challenging activities can positively impact brain function, with studies demonstrating behavioral [ 1 , 2 ], physiological [ 3 , 4 ], and real-world functional [ 5 , 6 ] gains.

Methods Ethics statement Participants provided informed consent by clicking a dialogue box on a digital consent form prior to participation in the study. Trial registration The study was registered on ClinicalTrials.

Participants Participants were recruited from the Lumosity website www. Download: PPT. Table 1. Demographic information for fully evaluable participants. Treatment and control groups All participants were instructed to log into the website and do one session per day of their activity cognitive training for the treatment group or crossword puzzles for the control group , 5 days a week for 10 weeks.

Cognitive training treatment. Crossword puzzles control. Outcome measures Outcomes were assessed using a battery of seven neuropsychological tests, as well as a participant-reported outcomes survey. Neuropsychological assessment battery. Assessment scaling procedure.

Participant-reported outcomes. Results Primary outcome measure Our primary hypothesis was that the treatment program would lead to greater improvements in aggregate cognitive performance compared to the active control, as measured by the neuropsychological assessment battery.

Fig 2. Change in composite score Grand Index for the cognitive training treatment and crossword puzzle control conditions.

Table 2. Neuropsychological assessment baseline means, change scores, and effect sizes. Individual assessments Based on the significant main effect on our primary outcome measure, we performed secondary analyses consisting of additional ANCOVA models for each assessment.

Effects of amount of engagement If the cognitive training treatment was more effective than playing crossword puzzles for improving cognitive abilities, we may observe a larger effect of active days of study engagement for the treatment condition compared to the control condition.

Fig 4. Change in composite score Grand Index by number of active days in treatment and control conditions. Participant-reported outcomes Of the 4, participants included in the analyses above, 4, Discussion The findings of this study are consistent with the extant literature on cognitive training that shows that progressively challenging, targeted cognitive training can be an effective tool for improving core cognitive abilities including speed of processing [ 13 ], working memory [ 46 ], and fluid reasoning [ 10 ].

Supporting Information. S1 CONSORT Checklist. Completed CONSORT checklist of information to include when reporting a randomized trial. s PDF. S1 Appendix. Descriptions of each of the cognitive training tasks used in this study. s DOCX. S2 Appendix. A more thorough description of the seven neuropsychological assessments used to measure cognitive performance at pre-test and post-test.

S1 Dataset. The study data for the statistical comparisons of outcomes for cognitive training relative to crosswords. s CSV. S2 Dataset. A description of the data columns in S1 Dataset.

S1 File. Additional Analyses. S1 Protocol. The IRB-approved study protocol. Acknowledgments We would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the dedicated people who have worked to create Lumosity.

Author Contributions Conceived and designed the experiments: JLH FF RAN MET DAS MS. References 1. Green CS, Bavelier D. Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Smith GE, Housen P, Yaffe K, Ruff R, Kennison RF, Mahncke HW, et al. A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training IMPACT study.

J Am Geriatr Soc. Landau SM, Harvey D, Madison CM, Koeppe RA, Reiman EM, Foster NL, et al. Associations between cognitive, functional, and FDG-PET measures of decline in AD and MCI.

Neurobiol Aging. Anguera JA, Boccanfuso J, Rintoul JL, Al-Hashimi O, Faraji F, Janowich J, et al. Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Ball K, Edwards JD, Ross LA, McGwin G Jr.

Cognitive training decreases motor vehicle collision involvement of older drivers. Wolinsky FD, Unverzagt FW, Smith DM, Jones R, Stoddard A, Tennstedt SL.

The ACTIVE cognitive training trial and health-related quality of life: protection that lasts for 5 years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci.

Woollett K, Maguire EA. Acquiring "the Knowledge" of London's layout drives structural brain changes. Curr Biol. Munte TF, Altenmuller E, Jancke L.

The musician's brain as a model of neuroplasticity. Nat Rev Neurosci. Mackey AP, Whitaker KJ, Bunge SA. Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: reasoning training alters structural connectivity.

Front Neuroanat. Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, Perrig WJ. Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Ball K, Berch DB, Helmers KF, Jobe JB, Leveck MD, Marsiske M, et al. Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Schmiedek F, Lovden M, Lindenberger U. Hundred days of cognitive training enhance broad cognitive abilities in adulthood: findings from the COGITO study. Front Aging Neurosci. View Article Google Scholar Wolinsky FD, Vander Weg MW, Howren MB, Jones MP, Dotson MM.

A randomized controlled trial of cognitive training using a visual speed of processing intervention in middle aged and older adults.

PLoS One. Klingberg T, Fernell E, Olesen PJ, Johnson M, Gustafsson P, Dahlstrom K, et al. Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD—a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. Dahlin E, Neely AS, Larsson A, Backman L, Nyberg L.

Transfer of learning after updating training mediated by the striatum. Berry AS, Zanto TP, Clapp WC, Hardy JL, Delahunt PB, Mahncke HW, et al. The influence of perceptual training on working memory in older adults.

Owen AM, Hampshire A, Grahn JA, Stenton R, Dajani S, Burns AS, et al. Putting brain training to the test. Redick TS, Shipstead Z, Harrison TL, Hicks KL, Fried DE, Hambrick DZ, et al. No evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.

J Exp Psychol Gen. Hunter JE. Cognitive ability, cognitive aptitudes, job knowledge, and job performance. J Vocat Behav. McClelland MM, Acock AC, Piccinin A, Rhea SA, Stallings MC. Relations between preschool attention span-persistence and age 25 educational outcomes. Early Child Res Q. Evans JJ, Floyd RG, McGrew KS, Leforgee MH.

The relations between measures of Cattel-Horn-Carroll CHC cognitive abilities and reading achievement during childhood and adolescence. School Psych Rev. Floyd RG, Evans JJ, McGrew KS.

Relations between measures of Cattell-Horn-Carroll CHC cognitive abilities and mathematics achievement across the school-age years. Psychol Sch.

Owsley C, Sloane M, McGwin G Jr. Timed instrumental activities of daily living tasks: relationship to cognitive function and everyday performance assessments in older adults. Bavelier D, Green CS, Pouget A, Schrater P.

Brain plasticity through the life span: learning to learn and action video games. Annu Rev Neurosci. Kesler SR, Sheau K, Koovakkattu D, Reiss AL. Changes in frontal-parietal activation and math skills performance following adaptive number sense training: preliminary results from a pilot study.

Neuropsychol Rehabil. Kesler SR, Lacayo NJ, Jo B. A pilot study of an online cognitive rehabilitation program for executive function skills in children with cancer-related brain injury.

Brain Inj. Hardy JL, Drescher D, Sarkar K, Kellett G, Scanlon M. Enhancing visual memory and attention with a web-based cognitive training program. MENSA Research Journal. Mayas J, Parmentier FB, Andres P, Ballesteros S. Lots of activities can keep your mind active.

For example, read books and magazines. Play games. Take or teach a class. Learn a new skill or hobby. Work or volunteer. These types of mentally stimulating activities have not been proven to prevent serious cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease , but they can be fun!

Some scientists have argued that such activities may protect the brain by establishing "cognitive reserve. Some types of cognitive training conducted in a research setting also seem to have benefits.

For the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly ACTIVE trial , healthy adults 65 and older participated in 10 sessions of memory training, reasoning training, or processing-speed training.

The sessions improved participants' mental skills in the area in which they were trained with evidence suggesting these benefits persisted for two years. Be wary of claims that playing certain computer and online games can improve your memory and other types of thinking as evidence to back up such claims is evolving.

There is currently not enough evidence available to suggest that computer-based brain training applications offered commercially have the same impact on cognitive abilities as the ACTIVE study training.

NIA and other organizations are supporting research to determine whether different types of cognitive training have lasting effects. For more information, see Participating in Activities You Enjoy. Connecting with other people through social activities and community programs can keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated and more engaged with the world around you.

Participating in social activities may lower the risk for some health problems and improve well-being. People who engage in personally meaningful and productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose.

Studies show that these activities seem to help maintain their well-being and may improve their cognitive function. So, visit with family and friends. Consider volunteering for a local organization or join a group focused on a hobby you enjoy. Join a walking group with other older adults.

Check out programs available through your Area Agency on Aging , senior center, or other community organizations. Increasingly, there are groups that meet online too, providing a way to connect from home with others who share your interests or to get support.

We don't know for sure yet if any of these actions can prevent or delay Alzheimer's and age-related cognitive decline. Still, some of these have been associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Stress is a natural part of life.

Short-term stress can even focus our thoughts and motivate us to take action. To help manage stress and build the ability to bounce back from stressful situations, there are many things you can do:. Genetic , environmental , and lifestyle factors are all thought to influence cognitive health.

Some of these factors may contribute to a decline in thinking skills and the ability to perform everyday tasks such as driving, paying bills, taking medicine, and cooking.

Genetic factors are passed down inherited from a parent to child and cannot be controlled. But many environmental and lifestyle factors can be changed or managed to reduce your risk. These factors include:. Many health conditions affect the brain and pose risks to cognitive function.

These conditions include:. It's important to prevent or seek treatment for these health problems. They affect your brain as well as your body and receiving treatment for other conditions may help prevent or delay cognitive decline or thinking problems.

Older adults are at higher risk of falls, car accidents, and other accidents that can cause brain injury. Alcohol and certain medicines can affect a person's ability to drive safely and also increase the risk for accidents and brain injury. Learn about risks for falls and participate in fall prevention programs.

Wear helmets and seat belts to help prevent head injuries as well. Overcoming this fear can help you stay active, maintain your physical health, and prevent future falls. Some drugs and combinations of medicines can affect a person's thinking and the way the brain works.

For example, certain ones can cause confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, and delusions in older adults. Medicines can also interact with food, dietary supplements, alcohol, and other substances.

Some of these interactions can affect how your brain functions. Drugs that can harm older adults' cognition include:. Lack of exercise and other physical activity may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, and stroke — all of which can harm the brain.

In some studies, physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive performance and reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease. In general, staying active is known to lower the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and symptoms of depression, all of which in turn can improve cognitive health.

A number of studies link eating certain foods with keeping the brain healthy and suggest that other foods can increase health risk. For example, high-fat and high-sodium foods can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, that can harm the brain. Smoking is harmful to your body and your brain.

It raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and lung disease. Quitting smoking at any age can improve your health. Drinking too much alcohol affects the brain by slowing or impairing communication among brain cells. This can lead to slurred speech, fuzzy memory, drowsiness, and dizziness. Long-term effects may include changes in balance, memory, emotions, coordination, and body temperature.

Staying away from alcohol can reverse some of these changes. As people age, they may become more sensitive to alcohol's effects.

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