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Age-related differences in Cognitive Plasticity of Executive Control Mechanisms: Exploring Transfer Effects Following iPad-based Dual-Task and N-Back Training


Age-related differences in Cognitive Plasticity of Executive Control Mechanisms: Exploring Transfer Effects Following iPad-based Dual-Task and N-Back Training

Houdeib, Ramzi (2018) Age-related differences in Cognitive Plasticity of Executive Control Mechanisms: Exploring Transfer Effects Following iPad-based Dual-Task and N-Back Training. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Recent literature suggests that executive function (EF) is not a unitary construct but one that involves many executive control mechanisms (ECM), such as updating and divided attention. Some posit that cognitive training helps improve EF in younger (YA) and older (OA)
adults, but transfer effects, which refer to improvements in an untrained task, remain somewhat limited. This study examined the age-related differences in transfer effects following cognitive
training of ECM by comparing two training paradigms designed to involved distinct ECM. Thirty-three YA and 42 OA were randomly assigned to a n-back (NB) or dual-task (DT) training group for three weeks. Pre/post-training assessment involved the trained task and their respective transfer tasks. Age was used as a between-subject factor, while session (pre/post) and task condition (low, medium, high load), as within-subjects factors. Both training groups improved on their respective trained tasks and transfer task involving the same ECM (near-transfer). Transfer effects were also observed in a transfer task involving a different ECM (far-transfer). The DT group improved in the DT-transfer and one of the two NB tasks. The NB group improved in the NB-transfer and both DT tasks. Age-related differences in transfer were observed for the DT group, with the dual-task cost and 3-back accuracy of YA improving on the DT-transfer task and N-back task respectively, while OA only improved on the 1-back and 2-back. Overall, the results suggest that OA and YA benefited from ECM training and that these benefits generalized to untrained tasks tapping the same and other ECM.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Houdeib, Ramzi
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:29 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bherer, Louis and Houdeib, Ramzi
Keywords:Cognitive training, Updating, Divided attention, N-back, Dual-task, Aging
ID Code:984506
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:28


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