Computerized working memory training improves function in adolescents born at extremely low birth weight

J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;158(4):555-561.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.09.060. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a computerized working memory training program on both trained and non-trained verbal aspects of working memory and executive and memory functions in extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000 g) infants.

Study design: Sixteen ELBW infants and 19 term-born control subjects aged 14 to 15 years participated in the training program, and 11 adolescents were included as a non-intervention group. Extensive neuropsychological assessment was performed before and immediately after training and at a 6-month follow-up examination. Both training groups used the CogMed RM program at home 5 days a week for 5 weeks.

Results: Both groups improved significantly on trained and non-trained working memory tasks and on other memory tests indicating a generalizing effect. Working memory capacity was improved, and effects were maintained at the 6-month follow-up examination. There was no significant improvement in the non-intervention group at the 6-week follow-up examination.

Conclusions: The computerized training program Cogmed RM was an effective intervention tool for improving memory and reducing core learning deficits in adolescents born at ELBW.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Programmed Instructions as Topic*
  • Social Class
  • Verbal Learning