Effects of Cogmed working memory training on cognitive performance

  • Joseph L. Etherton
  • Crystal D. Oberle
  • Jayson Rhoton
  • Ashley Ney
Original Article


Research on the cognitive benefits of working memory training programs has produced inconsistent results. Such research has frequently used laboratory-specific training tasks, or dual-task n-back training. The current study used the commercial Cogmed Working Memory (WM) Training program, involving several different training tasks involving visual and auditory input. Healthy college undergraduates were assigned to either the full Cogmed training program of 25, 40-min training sessions; an abbreviated Cogmed program of 25, 20-min training sessions; or a no-contact control group. Pretest and posttest measures included multiple measures of attention, working memory, fluid intelligence, and executive functions. Although improvement was observed for the full training group for a digit span task, no training-related improvement was observed for any of the other measures. Results of the study suggest that WM training does not improve performance on unrelated tasks or enhance other cognitive abilities.



Free use of Cogmed Working Memory Training software was provided to the authors by the software publisher for all participants in the current study. No additional funding has been provided from this or any other funding source.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Texas State University. All procedures involved in this study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph L. Etherton
    • 1
  • Crystal D. Oberle
    • 1
  • Jayson Rhoton
    • 1
  • Ashley Ney
    • 1
  1. 1.233 UACTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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