Novel television-based cognitive training improves working memory and executive function

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 3;9(7):e101472. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101472. eCollection 2014.


The main study objective was to investigate the effect of interactive television-based cognitive training on cognitive performance of 119 healthy older adults, aged 60-87 years. Participants were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group or to an active control group in a single-blind controlled two-group design. Before and after training interactive television cognitive performance was assessed on well validated tests of fluid, higher-order ability, and system usability was evaluated. The participants in the cognitive training group completed a television-based cognitive training programme, while the participants in the active control group completed a TV-based programme of personally benefiting activities. Significant improvements were observed in well validated working memory and executive function tasks in the cognitive training but not in the control group. None of the groups showed statistically significant improvement in life satisfaction score. Participants' reports of "adequate" to "high" system usability testify to the successful development and implementation of the interactive television-based system and compliant cognitive training contents. The study demonstrates that cognitive training delivered by means of an interactive television system can generate genuine cognitive benefits in users and these are measurable using well-validated cognitive tests. Thus, older adults who cannot use or afford a computer can easily use digital interactive television to benefit from advanced software applications designed to train cognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition*
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Television
  • Trail Making Test

Grants and funding

This study was created with the support of the Vital Mind project - 7th EU Framework Programme project num. 215387. This manuscript creation has been partially supported by the internal Excellence Project ‘Agent-based models and Social Simulation’ funded by the University of Hradec Králové. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.