Cogmed is a scientifically validated method to improve working memory. A good working memory is more efficient than a sea of post-it notes.
Principles of Treating the Brain
Three principles guide most techniques of neurostimulation or brain training. Most take time to see results.
The first principle is to reboot, repair, or rewire the brain.
The second principle is to train the brain to the edge of its ability through intensity and frequency of training over time with rest breaks. When training begins to become easier, increase the difficulty so as to continue to train to the edge of ability. Reassess regularly through feedback and progress discussions with the client and by using the same objective tests at the end of the treatment cycle. Exhaustion is a given, and so build in rest in between brain training sessions. Research shows learning works best with breaks in between.
The third principle is to engage in desired activity during or immediately after neurostimulation in order to stimulate rewiring of the neural networks involved in that activity.
Cogmed and the Principles
Cogmed’s goal is to restore or improve working memory through providing a set of tasks on the computer that one must master. As mastery progresses, the brain physically restructures as it adapts to the increasing challenges Cogmed presents to the client. In that way, Cogmed stimulates the brain to regrow and rewire its networks. Cogmed adheres to the second principle, too: the software increases the difficulty just as the client masters a task, thereby working the brain to the edge of its ability.
Cogmed software tracks your sessions and tests you at certain times during the five to ten weeks of training. The client must use it for the required duration of each session, five days a week, for it to improve working memory. The clinician determines how long each session will last when setting up Cogmed for their client. Fifty minutes, though exhausting, five days a week, is the most likely to effect neural network rewiring.
Although Cogmed doesn’t include real-world tasks after the session is over, its effect generalizes and transfers to non-trained tasks.
What Is Cogmed?
In short, it’s a computer program that the client logs in to on their tablet or computer that takes them through a series of tasks. Some tasks are numbers, some geometric based, some involve letters. Since Pearson updates the software every so often, it’s better to watch a video to understand how it works.
When Is Cogmed Suggested?
When an assessment such as evoke potentials that objectively measures working memory shows a deficiency, the specialist overseeing a client’s brain regeneration may suggest Cogmed. Upon assent, the specialist will set up Cogmed to meet a client’s particular needs. They’ll then book a virtual session to introduce them to Cogmed, what the training comprises, and what to expect. At the end of training, the specialist will meet with the client to review their results and provide access to any additional training sessions if they’re needed.
Although the client uses the software at home on their own time, their psychologist or clinic director will coach them and be available to answer questions and provide updates during the training.