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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Life Sciences, volume 10, numbers 1 and 2, 2018 // View article lifsci_v10_n12_2018_6


N-Back Training and Transfer Effects in Healthy Young and Older Subjects Gauged Using EEG: A Preliminary Study

Authors:
Valentina Pergher
Benjamin Wittevrongel
Jos Tournoy
Birgitte Schoenmakers
John Arsenault
Marc M. Van Hulle

Keywords: EEG; working memory training; transfer effects; P300 ERP; young and older adults

Abstract:
Executive function performance of older individuals is lower compared to young adults. We investigate whether N-Back working memory (WM) training improves both trained WM- and untrained cognitive function performance (transfer effects). As previous studies showed that electroencephalogram (EEG) responses, in particular Event Related Potentials (ERPs), vary with task difficulty level and age, we focused on the relation between ERPs-P300 and task difficulty level in young and older adults. We used two groups of healthy young and older participants to assess the effect of N-Back training: cognitive training group (CTG) and passive control group (PCG). CTG performed an N-Back task with 3 difficulty levels (1, 2, 3-Back), and PCG did not undergo any training. Pre- and post-tests were administered to both groups to gauge any transfer effects (spatial memory, attention and fluid intelligence). Our results show age-related differences in P300-ERPs, reaction time and accuracy for N-Back training task and in spatial memory and reasoning pre post-tests. Improvements in the trained task are stronger for CTG young than CTG older individuals. Furthermore, transfer effects to attention (TOVA) were found in both young and older adults for CTG, showing the benefits of the training.

Pages: 54 to 64

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2018. Used with permission.

Publication date: June 30, 2018

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2660

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