Cogmed Working Memory Training
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Cogmed Working Memory Training


Overview: An evidence-based intervention for improved working memory

URL: Cogmed

Age Range: 4+

Completion Time: 30 – 45 minutes, 5 days weekly, for 5 weeks (25 training sessions total); Variable protocols are available to meet scheduling needs

Report Options: Included in program

Publication Date: Current Version 4.6, 2016; Version 5.0 coming 2017


Product Details

Evidence-based computerized program to help improve attention in children and adults

Cogmed Working Memory Training provides an evidence-based program for helping children, adolescents, and adults sustainably improve attention by training their working memory. The program offers web-based training that is delivered under the supervision of a qualified Cogmed coach and can be done in the convenience of the client's or student's home or at a clinician's office, classroom or anywhere with a computer or tablet. Cognitive neuroscience, combined with innovative computer game design and close professional support, enables Cogmed to deliver substantial and lasting benefits to clients.

Users & Applications

Cogmed is useful for a range of individuals with working memory deficits, including those who:

  • Were born with a deficit
  • Acquired a deficit through brain injury or disease

Content & Administration

  • Initial interview
  • Start-up session
  • Online Cogmed training with flexible schedule using new variable protocols
  • Wrap-up meeting
  • Six month follow-up interview
  • Online access to client training data and progress monitoring reports

Features & Benefits

  • Cogmed is based on strong scientific research
  • Over 100 peer-reviewed studies support the efficacy of Cogmed with children and adults across a variety of applications
  • The easy-to-use software adjusts complexity level for each exercise in real time for maximal training effect
  • Now compatible with the Apple® iPad® mobile digital device and most Android™ tablet devices
  • Training is overseen by a national network of attention specialists who are qualified by Cogmed
  • Clients or students are assisted by a Cogmed coach who leads the training, tracks results, and gives support and motivation
  • Client or students sets the training schedule with the Cogmed coach, with ample flexibility
  • Cogmed gives all users online access to their own training results and progress status
  • Cogmed Extension Training allows the individual to further sharpen the acquired capacity and to verify that the results hold over time

Learn More at the Cogmed Website


Pre-recorded Webinars

  • Working Memory and Math, Dybuster, Cogmed

    Presenter: Peter Entwistle, PhD

    Working memory deficits have frequently been found to correlate with some math difficulties while other deficits also contribute to problems in acquiring math skills. This webinar will consider both working memory deficits and students who have difficulties with the ‘mental number line’. Pearson presently offers two relevant programs for addressing these math difficulties: Cogmed working Memory Training and Dybuster. To provide context for understanding the salience of these programs the webinar will define working memory and the ‘mental number line’. Secondly, we will articulate which math difficulties are correlated with working memory deficits and whether there are any age differences in these trends. As expected Cogmed working memory training has been found to result in improvement in working memory, but also, intriguingly, some studies have found improvements in math. Highlights of these studies will be reviewed. Pearson also offers a program called Dybuster in which students directly train the ‘mental number line’ or number line skills. Aspects of this web-based and game-based mathematical program will also be presented along with relevant research highlights. In short, this webinar will provide you with two innovative ways to address problems with math.

    Date: Dec 06, 2017

    pdf PDF: Working Memory and Math, Dybuster, Cogmed

    link Video: Working Memory and Math, Dybuster, Cogmed

  • Working Memory and Interventions

    Presenter: Peter Entwistle, PhD, Dierdre Metcalf

    In this webinar we will describe what working memory (WM) is, how it differs from other types of memory, why it is important and how to assess working memory. We will consider who is at risk for WM problems, which patient populations may present with WM challenges and then we will review different approaches to improving working memory. We will review strategies to improve WM. We will also focus on interventions that use a computer application to cognitive training or rehabilitation and the listener will understand how to implement a program with fidelity to ensure it is successful. Specifically we will look closely at Cogmed & a new program to improve math skills in children with dyscalculia, or learning disability in mathematics. That program is called Dybuster Calcularis.

    Date: May 23, 2017

    pdf PDF: Working Memory and Interventions

    link Video: Working Memory and Interventions

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation 101

    Presenter: Anne-Marie Kimbell, Ph.D.

    Cognitive Rehabilitation, often a major focus of medical rehabilitation, is the methods or techniques, therapies and interventions undertaken to improve or restore deficits in cognitive functioning. This webinar will provide a general overview of what cognitive rehabilitation is, who the participants are, where it takes place, and who the providers are. In addition, we will discuss some of the types of cognitive strategies, including computer training, utilized in cognitive rehabilitation.

    Date: May 18, 2017

    pdf PDF: Cognitive Rehabilitation 101

    link Video: Cognitive Rehabilitation 101

  • Working Memory Training and Evidence-Based Interventions for ADHD

    Presenter: Peter C Entwistle, PhD, Charles Shinaver, PhD

    While this webinar will spend approximately half of the hour on Cogmed as an evidence-based intervention for ADHD it will consider other options as well. However, as is well known by clinicians, researchers and educators there is no way to do an exhaustive review of evidence-based interventions of ADHD in 1 hour or less, let alone 30 minutes or less. What we will be able to provide is some data for your consideration of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the existing evidence thus far. Some time will be spent considering the impact of medication, Cogmed and other innovative approaches to managing ADHD. We consider this topic worthy of several hours of webinars and as such while we expect we may open up more questions than answers we thought this is useful to provide a forum for consideration of this topic.

    Date: Dec 08, 2016

    pdf PDF: Working Memory Training and Evidence-Based Interventions for ADHD

    link Video: Working Memory Training and Evidence-Based Interventions for ADHD

  • Differentiating Cogmed Effects: ADHD, LD and WM deficits

    Presenter: Peter C Entwistle, PhD, Charles Shinaver, PhD

    This webinar will shed some light on the effects of Cogmed in the case of comorbidity with ADHD, but moves beyond that to consider children without ADHD those who have other learning concerns. This webinar is intended to further deepen a more nuanced expectation and understanding of the possible effects of Cogmed with a broader range of problems challenging school-aged children. In this webinar the presenting concerns of children will include ADHD, those with learning “disorders” and children with learning “difficulties”. We will consider how the effects of Cogmed might be distinct among these groups. Particular focus will be placed on reviewing the 2016 study by Roording-Ragetlie, et al., titled: “Working Memory Training in children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders”. However, other relevant Cogmed-specific studies will also be considered (Dahlin, 2010 & 2013), Gropper, et al., (2014), as well other salient studies.

    Date: Nov 30, 2016

    pdf PDF: Differentiating Cogmed Effects: ADHD, LD and WM deficits

    link Video: Differentiating Cogmed Effects: ADHD, LD and WM deficits

  • The Core Efficacy of Cogmed: Improving Working Memory

    Presenter: Peter C Entwistle, PhD, Charles Shinaver, PhD

    Cogmed working memory training, as its name implies, is a program for training working memory. We consider improving working memory to be the “core efficacy” of Cogmed. Presently 35 peer reviewed published studies bolster this claim. It is not just the volume of data, but as is often the case in new research endeavors in psychology and education, pilot studies and smaller scale studies usually precede larger, better designed, later confirmation studies. This has been the case with Cogmed and data supporting the conclusion that it improves both visual spatial and working memory.

    Articulating the implications of this finding is the focus of this webinar. This will include defining working memory in context of other memory functions. We will briefly distinguish this from improved attention, the second most supported effect of Cogmed. We will also consider data related to the length of time these effects have been found to last. And finally we will consider possible implications of this striking finding that working memory can be improved as it relates to: the decline of working memory over the lifespan, how working memory deficits relate to a number of mental health disorders and the educational implications of working memory.

    Data will guide our discussion of these topics and as one might guess this webinar opens up the consideration of several other areas of inquiry, but cannot be exhaustive in a data review of them all. We will simply re-emphasize the critical finding that working memory can be improved and the far-reaching implications of this finding which we expect will pre-occupy researchers, clinicians and educators for decades.

    Date: Oct 05, 2016

    pdf PDF: The Core Efficacy of Cogmed: Improving Working Memory

    link Video: The Core Efficacy of Cogmed: Improving Working Memory

  • How does Working Memory Training affect Anxiety?

    Presenter: Peter C. Entwistle, PhD, Charles Shinaver, PhD

    An intriguing aspect of working memory (WM) is the fact that so many patients with a range of disorders include deficits in WM (traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, schizophrenia, ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc.). While early work with Cogmed has focused upon patients identified with either cognitive deficits (ADHD, TBI, stroke, etc.) or healthy clients, more recent work has moved into disorders in which anxiety is the primary deficit.

    There are a few Cogmed specific studies that are relevant to this topic. One by Hadwin & Richards (2016) explored the impact of working memory training in comparison to what many consider to be the top treatment for anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy. The study was conducted with adolescents ages 11 to 14. Another pilot study investigated the impact of Cogmed with patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 4 war veterans ages 55 to 65. The study looked at Cogmed combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). These results are interesting and include electroencephalographic (EEG) data also. Yet other Cogmed studies have found an impact upon anxiety like the study by Roughan & Hadwin, 2011 which found a reduction in self-reported test and trait anxiety among children with social emotional and behavioral disorders. A study by Hellgren, et al., 2015 found a reduction in anxiety and depression among adults between ages 20-65 who had acquired brain injury and Akerlund, et al., (2013) also found a reduction in anxiety with a similar sample of adults with acquired brain injury. This accumulation of data suggests the salience of working memory training for disorders in which anxiety is the primary feature or those in which it is associated with another condition.

    Date: Jul 12, 2016

    pdf PDF: How does Working Memory Training affect Anxiety?

    link Video: How does Working Memory Training affect Anxiety?

  • Different Presentations of ADHD Result in different Working Memory Training Outcomes

    Presenter: Peter C Entwistle, PhD and Charles Shinaver, PhD

    This webinar denotes a more differentiated consideration of reasonable expectations for the effects of Cogmed on children with ADHD. Drs. Shinaver and Entwistle originally argued for evaluating Cogmed effects in light of consideration of the severity of disorder (considering the different ‘presentations of ADHD’ and arguing that combined ADHD is a more severe disorder than ADHD inattentive type) and comorbidity as well as controlling for medication in the journal article: “Cogmed Working Memory Training: Reviewing the reviews”, published in Applied Neuropsychological Child in 2014. In that article they concluded that there was evidence that Cogmed has significant impact upon visual-spatial and verbal working memory and that these effects generalized to improved sustained attention up to 6 months. Additionally, they argued that there were some promising studies for improvements in academic abilities but that more controlled studies were needed before we could make strong and specific claims on this topic. The recently published study: “Predictor and Moderators of Treatment Outcome in Cognitive Training for Children with ADHD” by van der Don, et al., (2016) tested those arguments empirically. Drs. Shinaver and Entwistle will review this study with some detail along with other salient Cogmed-specific data to update the empirical status of the position they argued in 2014.

    Date: Jun 02, 2016

    pdf PDF: Different Presentations of ADHD Result in different Working Memory Training Outcomes

    link Video: Different Presentations of ADHD Result in different Working Memory Training Outcomes

  • What Does Cognitive Training Tell Us About Brain Functioning?

    Presenter: Peter C. Entwistle, PhD

    Cogmed has been accumulating several well designed and interesting studies on brain functioning and the impact of Cogmed. This type of research is particularly distinctive to Cogmed. In fact the number of such studies reached a critical mass sufficient to include a claim on the May 2015 Cogmed Claims and evidence document stating: “Improvements in working memory following CWMT are associated with changes in functional brain activity a) seen as changes in the neurochemistry (McNab, et al., 2009), functional activity related to working memory (Olsen, et al., 2004; Westerberg, et al., 2007; Brehmer et al., 2011), and functional connectivity at rest (Astle, et al., 2015). We will review these studies supporting the intriguing notion that Cogmed evidence suggests resulting changes at the level of brain functioning.

    Date: Mar 22, 2016

    pdf PDF: What Does Cognitive Training Tell Us About Brain Functioning?

    link Video: What Does Cognitive Training Tell Us About Brain Functioning?

  • Why Cogmed Matters for Traumatic Brain Injury

    Presenter: Peter C. Entwistle, PhD

    This webinar has been updated to include the 2015 study by Hellgren, et al. “Computerized Training of Working Memory for Patients with Acquired Brain Injury”. The webinar is focused upon this burgeoning area of research with several Cogmed-specific studies. A number of these studies will be covered in some detail. However, first a broader picture of TBI will be considered which includes how working memory capacity has been found to relate to survival, community integration, quality of life, reduced depression and to correlate with executive functions (EF). EF have been found to relate to obtaining competitive employment, occupational outcomes and social integration. Then the Cogmed specific studies will be reviewed which include survivors of stroke, acquired brain injury and traumatic brain injury who completed Cogmed. Finally, we will consider for adults what factors are related to return to work successfully. For children we will consider how TBI’s effects on working memory affect their return to learn in school.

    Date: Mar 18, 2016

    pdf PDF: Why Cogmed Matters for Traumatic Brain Injury

    link Video: Why Cogmed Matters for Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Cogmed & Adult ADHD with two new studies from 2015

    Presenter: Peter C. Entwistle, PhD, Charles Shinaver, PhD

    As is well known in the research literature a good number of children who have ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD. Additionally, there are some who may not continue to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD, but still struggle with inattention, working memory and executive functions as adults. Although there are a more limited number of Cogmed-specific studies on this population the evidence shows promise. In fact one meta-analysis of Working memory training considering training programs more broadly than Cogmed argues for an “age independence principle: The effects of narrow task paradigm WM training are not dependent on age (at least for the age range 4-71 years)” (Schwaighofer, et al., 2015). In 2014 there were two Cogmed-specific studies with adults with ADHD (Gropper, et a., 2014; Mawjee, et al., 2014) Then in 2015 two new studies were added to the literature (Liu et al., 2015; Mawjee et al., 2015). The study by Gropper, et al., 2014, focuses upon adults who are ADHD or LD. The Mawjee, et al. (2014), pilot study addressing issues of engagement, motivation and expectancy and was followed up with a larger study by Mawjee et al., in 2015. An unusual study by Liu et al. was published in 2015 that considered EEG data. We will review this data as well as the research and salient conceptual context that will help you to make sense of adult ADHD and how Cogmed might play a role with this population.

    Date: Mar 01, 2016

    pdf PDF: Cogmed & Adult ADHD with two new studies from 2015

    link Video: Cogmed & Adult ADHD with two new studies from 2015

  • How to Think About Cogmed Research Related to ADHD and Working Memory Deficits

    The conceptual structure of this webinar is based upon a chapter published by Shinaver & Entwistle (2015) called “Computerized Cognitive Training based upon Neuroplasticity". Part of what we will provide is a framework for how to think about the data with Cogmed studies on ADHD & WM deficits. Additionally, in this webinar we will differentiate between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and working memory deficits. We will cover more general research on these topics as well as Cogmed-specific research on these populations.

    Reference: Shinaver, C.S. III & Entwistle, P.C. (2015). “Computerized Cognitive Training based upon Neuroplasticity". In N. Dewan "Mental Health Care in a Digital World: A Clinicians Guide". New York, NY: Springer

    Date: Feb 24, 2016

    pdf PDF: How to Think About Cogmed Research Related to ADHD and Working Memory Deficits

    link Video: How to Think About Cogmed Research Related to ADHD and Working Memory Deficits

  • Holmes, et al., (2015) Research Informs our Understanding of How Working Memory Relates to English Language Learning (ELL) and What Role Cogmed Can Play

    Presenter: Peter C. Entwistle, PhD

    Holmes, et al., (2015) focused upon using Cogmed with students identified with low language abilities. This data is integrated into this webinar. This webinar will provide a broader conceptual framework by differentiating between working memory, short term memory and long term memory. We will also establish why working memory is important for ELL. A limited working memory can impeded the process of skill acquisition in ADHD and we argue possibly in the case of English Language Learning. We will discuss how poor WM affects skill acquisition and the developmental trajectory in children with ADHD. We will argue for a similar risk for English Language Learners who are limited by their working memory capacity in the acquisition of English. Although this is an exploratory webinar Holmes et al., (2015) study provides additional evidence for the salience of this link.

    Date: Feb 23, 2016

    pdf PDF: Holmes, et al., (2015) Research Informs our Understanding of How Working Memory Relates to English Language Learning (ELL) and What Role Cogmed Can Play

    link Video: Holmes, et al., (2015) Research Informs our Understanding of How Working Memory Relates to English Language Learning (ELL) and What Role Cogmed Can Play

  • Cogmed Is Now Easier To Do In Schools

    Cogmed provides a distinctive amount and quality of empirical evidence for its effectiveness with over 75 peer reviewed published studies, but this training method is now easier to implement in schools. In the last couple of years some large scale school implementations of Cogmed have allowed our staff to develop a number of features to make it work well in schools. Among those features are the variable protocol (shorter training sessions and fewer days a week of training), fidelity features, built-in generalization measures and Trends reporting which provides schools with the data needed to manage the large scale implantation of the program. Reporting for the district, school, class, and individual student level is now available. Reports include measures of compliance, motivation, and validity. Additionally the Cogmed progress indicator gives schools a measure of generalization to nontrained tasks in the areas of working memory, following instructions and math fluency. The variable protocol allows children to do cogmed for 25 or 35 minutes a day 3, 4 or 5 days a week. Now Cogmed can fit into school schedules and be managed effectively and efficiently. Attend this webinar to get a grasp of these important changes.

    Date: Feb 11, 2016

    pdf PDF: Cogmed Is Now Easier To Do In Schools

    link Video: Cogmed Is Now Easier To Do In Schools

  • Children Completing Cogmed Have Improved in Reading and Math

    Presenter: Charles Shinaver Ph.D. & Peter C. Entwistle Ph.D.

    There is now evidence to support that Cogmed can facilitate improvement in math and reading. In May of 2015 our research staff updated our Claims & Evidence – Volume 3 (V3) and added the claim that children have improved in reading and math following Cogmed. In light of this update we want to provide you with a webinar to review the evidence that provides the basis for this claim. Be aware that this is the first time that claims about academic achievement have been made related to Cogmed and we will articulate what we believe are some caveats to these claims. For instance in the case of academic achievement working memory capacity is necessary but it may not be sufficient for academic gains. That is, there may be domain specific skills or knowledge and or other possible bottlenecks that may have to be addressed for a particular student to make gains in a particular area like reading or math. For example, there are some dyslexics who have poor working memory and others who do not. For those who lack a deficit in WM one would not expect following Cogmed that there would be growth in reading for this subgroup of dyslexics. The same is true in other areas of academic achievement. We will discuss both the evidence for these Cogmed claims and their limits in the webinar. Since there are fewer studies related to this claim we will have time to review most of the relevant research with some detail.

    Date: Feb 09, 2016

    pdf PDF: Cogmed Claims and Evidence V3: Children completing Cogmed have Improved in Reading & Math

    link Video: Children Completing Cogmed Have Improved in Reading and Math

  • Training of Working Memory in Children with Attention Deficits

    Presenter: Torkel Klingberg

    This intermediate to advanced level webinar is intended to inspire and educate professionals about the role of working memory training in populations with working memory deficits. The session is appropriate for practitioners offering Cogmed training, as well as those clinicians interested in learning more about working memory intervention. Impaired working memory is associated with low academic performance, distractibility and inattention in clinically defined groups, such as in ADHD, but the same associations are also relevant in the general population. Dr. Torkel Klingberg and collaborators have developed and tested a computerized method for training working memory, Cogmed, which has been shown to improve working memory capacity, attention and behavioral symptoms in children with ADHD. In this session, Klingberg will discuss the relationship between working memory and attention, describe the nature of working memory deficits in ADHD, explain the method behind working memory training and demonstrate the effects of working memory training.

    Date: Nov 14, 2011




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