Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Steven Schandler


Are brain-training applications effective? In recent years the popularity of brain training programs, such as Lumosity, Brain Age, Big Brain Academy and Elevate has increased significantly. These programs assert that the consistent use of their program can potentially result in increases in cognitive function. The current body of cognitive research shows that these programs train working memory; due to its integral part in general cognition. This research compared the effectiveness of digitally enhanced working memory tasks, versus active control groups for improvements on measures of cognitive functioning. It was hypothesized that the digitally enhanced working memory tasks would have greater improvements in cognitive functioning, to test this hypothesis this study used meta-analysis to examine and assess the current literature. Support of the hypothesis is found in specific areas of functioning such as visual-spatial working memory, fluid intelligence and processing speed. However, more research needs to be conducted with larger samples and more specific dependent measures of cognitive functioning. Practical application of these digitally enhanced working memory tasks are geared towards slowing cognitive decline in elderly populations.


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.