Effects of Working Memory Training on Children’s Memory and Academic Performance: the Role of Training Task Features and Trainee’s Characteristics

Barbara Studer-Luethi, Minna Törmänen, Katja Margelisch, Antonia B. Hogrefe, Walter J. Perrig

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Learning and academic performance are explained mainly by basic limited-capacity processes, most notably by working memory (WM). Consequently, training WM has been considered a promising approach to fostering these abilities. However, school-based investigations are rare. This study examined the effects of training task features and trainees' characteristics on transfer to cognitive and academic measures. Eighty-six typically developing 8-12-year-old children completed 6 weeks of either WM training with n-back and complex span tasks or a control training with perceptual-matching tasks in a regular school setting. The study also assessed some personal variables of the children, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, joy of learning, and power of endurance. The WM training group showed increased WM and math performance compared to the control group. Also, there was a trend toward some improvements in vocabulary after WM training, and overall improvements after both trainings were observed in fluid intelligence and reading. Analyses of individual differences in the WM training group indicated increased training performance in relation to emotional stability, conscientiousness, power of endurance, as well as teacher-reported joy of learning and social integration of participants. Thus, the results indicate the potential of WM training to improve WM capacity and mathematical skills and reveal the impact of regulative, motivational, and social factors on cognitive training performance.

TidskriftJournal of cognitive enhancement
Antal sidor18
Status!!E-pub ahead of print - 26 apr. 2022
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 516 Pedagogik
  • 515 Psykologi

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