Presentation by Jasmien Vervaeke about transfer after a cognitive control training: evidence from a healthy sample @ ABCT Conference

15-11-2018 09:00 to 18-11-2018 17:00
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel – 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
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Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT), where systematic instructions aim to alter the neurocognitive abilities (Robertson & Murre, 1999), has been applied in several domains, such as schizophrenia, ADHD and depression. However, in order to be effective, improvements should be notable not only on the tasks administered during CRT, but should extend beyond those (i.e., transfer).

 Previous research has shown a lot of variability regarding the occurrence of cognitive transfer. However, a specific type of CRT seemed especially promising in a meta-analysis (Motter et al., 2016): Cognitive control training (CCT) in depression. Therefore, a CCT study was conducted with a convenience sample (N = 147) where cognitive transfer was assessed by a Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT; Gronwall, 1977) and a dual n-back task (Jaeggi et al., 2010), both before and after training. Training consisted either of ten adaptive PASAT sessions (CCT) or ten active control training sessions (ACT).

 Results showed a clear effect of training task on PASAT performance (F(1, 145) = 61.13, p < .001, ηp2 = .30) and an interaction effect of group x time (F(1, 145) = 508.85, p < .001, ηp2 = .78), signaling that the CCT group improved significantly more that the ACT group. Results regarding the dual n-back task performance were less clear. A Mixed 2x2 ANOVA showed no difference in training groups (F(1, 144) = 0.116, p = .734, ηp2 < .01) and no interaction (F(1, 144) = 0.406, p = .525, ηp2 < .01).

 At this point, strong evidence was found for transfer using a task closely related to the training task. However, it is unclear whether this extends to other tasks as well. Eliciting far transfer remains a key challenge for cognitive training procedures.

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