Testing for Near and Far Transfer Effects with a Short, Face-to-Face Adaptive Working Memory Training Intervention in Typical Children

Henry, L., Messer, D. J. & Nash, G. (2013). Testing for Near and Far Transfer Effects with a Short, Face-to-Face Adaptive Working Memory Training Intervention in Typical Children. Infant and Child Development, 23(1), pp. 84-103. doi: 10.1002/icd.1816

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Abstract

A relatively quick, face-to-face, adaptive working memory training intervention was assessed in 5- to 8-year-old typically developing children, randomly allocated to a six-week intervention condition, or an active control condition. All children received 18 sessions of 10 minutes, three times/week for six weeks. Assessments of six working memory skills, word reading and mathematics were administered at pre-test, post-test, and six month follow-up. Additional measures of word reading, mathematics, spelling and reading comprehension were given at a 12 month follow-up. At post-test, the trained group showed significantly larger gains than the control group on the two trained executive-loaded working memory tasks (Listening Recall, Odd One Out Span) and on two untrained working memory tasks (Word Recall, Counting Recall). These "near transfer" effects were still apparent at six month follow-up. "Far transfer" effects were less evident: there was no difference between the groups in their gains on single word reading and mathematics over 12 months, and spelling skills did not differ at 12 month follow-up. However, the trained group showed significantly higher reading comprehension scores than the control group at 12 month follow-up. Thus, improving the ability to divide attention between processing and storage may have had specific benefits for reading comprehension.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Henry, L. A., Messer, D. J. and Nash, G. (2014), Testing for Near and Far Transfer Effects with a Short, Face-to-Face Adaptive Working Memory Training Intervention in Typical Children. Inf. Child Develop., 23: 84–103, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.1816. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: working memory, training, intervention, children, reading comprehension
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3688

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