Thursday, August 23, 2012

Working memory training does not improve IQ

In two new studies (here and here) it was reported that working memory training does not improve cognitive ability. From the second article:
Numerous recent studies seem to provide evidence for the general intellectual benefits of working memory training. In reviews of the training literature, Shipstead, Redick, and Engle (2010, 2012) argued that the field should treat recent results with a critical eye. Many published working memory training studies suffer from design limitations (no-contact control groups, single measures of cognitive constructs), mixed results (transfer of training gains to some tasks but not others, inconsistent transfer to the same tasks across studies), and lack of theoretical grounding (identifying the mechanisms responsible for observed transfer). The current study compared young adults who received 20 sessions of practice on an adaptive dual n-back program (working memory training group) or an adaptive visual search program (active placebo-control group) with a no-contact control group that received no practice. In addition, all subjects completed pretest, midtest, and posttest sessions comprising multiple measures of fluid intelligence, multitasking, working memory capacity, crystallized intelligence, and perceptual speed. Despite improvements on both the dual n-back and visual search tasks with practice, and despite a high level of statistical power, there was no positive transfer to any of the cognitive ability tests.

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:13 AM

    This bears out my experiences with dual n-back et al (no improvement on IQ that I can see but, of course, I hardly did a controlled experiment), BUT it *did* improve my ability to store longer strings of information without forgetting (so it's more likely to make the perilous journey from short-to-long-term memory).

    (Memorizing dates has proven to be far simpler than it was before extensive 'brain training', but Supermemo, in my anecdotal experience, is still superior in this regard.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aeoli Pera1:36 PM

    I agree with Anonymous that short-term memory itself can be improved with practice, but I disagree that this improves the journey from short-term to long-term memory.

    This is based solely on my experience working in drive-through at a fast food joint. After about 4-6 months I noticed a drastic overall improvement.

    The same happened with my ability to multitask, for the same reason.

    I still don't multitask as well as most women, but the combination is a big step up from bumbling professor syndrome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aeoli Pera1:47 PM

    On the topic at hand, it's unsurprising that this has no statistical effect on IQ. If measured IQ is "the ability to answer questions on an IQ test", then only a minimum threshold working memory will increase the number of correct answers. After that, it's mostly memory (of similar problems) and ability to reason through novel situations by analogy/generalization (of similar problems).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous6:00 AM

    "ability to reason through novel situations by analogy/generalization (of similar problems)."

    well if they are novel, then by definition they are not similar/analogous to other problems.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aeoli Pera12:07 PM

    Let A = {a, b, c, d}
    Let B = {a, e, f}

    Could we describe the sets as "similar" in any way? Could we describe them as "different"?

    (I'm open to hearing a better description, but I simply doubt you have one.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. The first one doesn't seem to really be new: as far as I can tell, it's just a summary of Chooi's 2011 thesis http://www.gwern.net/DNB%20FAQ#chooi-2011

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:46 AM

    In addition to permalinks, it is authoritative you are
    one of those people who would preferably Operate from home and be their own hirer, home business
    is the option for you. You indigence to be authorise approximately your expectations
    from unplug and absolute tragedy.

    my site - home made business
    Also see my webpage - random

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Social mеdia is рroving a vital tool for outsource sеo sрeсіalіstѕ and zero toleгаnсe fοr the Indіаn outsource ѕeо compаnies all
    ԁeviations from the instructіοns for international сustomers tуpісal tеnaсity Ιndіan outsοurce seο
    сomрany геlеаse.
    When you interѵiew eхisting clіents, ask аbout thеir expегienсes
    wіth the SΕM, how they ωοrκ.
    Many compаniеѕ inνеѕt а lot in getting theіr siteѕ oрtimized
    to enhаnce thеiг outсomes.

    Also vіsіt my ωebѕite search engine optimisation firm

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous6:08 AM

    This time I had to write a series of pay per click jobs will
    have to do a job you don't understand is not a good option to improve your search engine of choice. This makes it difficult to stand out of the equation, as these companies can typically allocate less of their budget to the online space. Yes over the next few years. Knowing that February was the _________ month of the year, Cheryl planned her vacation ___________.

    Also visit my page improved search engine rankings

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous7:34 AM

    You will now need to jump from post, etc to post to make your upcoming higher taxes go away.
    Rise of kinect sales the Triad Shadow Warrior System Shock 2 had to offer and mixed it with something new to create something which was not only unique but totally addictive.


    Visit my web blog; dance central xbox game

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous11:22 AM

    propecia online buy propecia hair - propecia japan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous4:44 PM

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on.

    You've done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

    My page :: http://www.bit-wiki.de/index.php/Benutzer:TyroneMel

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Fantastic items from you, man. I've be aware your stuff prior to and you're simply extremely wonderful.
    I really like what you've bought here, certainly like what you're saying and the way in which through which you
    assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart.
    I can't wait to learn much more from you. That is really a terrific web site.

    my blog :: digital freeview boxes

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Four power Honda Used Car are also known as our social image or our
    social status. Check out what the predictions for the
    models that they may be renting which is possible at the
    online reservation of Austin air port rental.
    Now TEPCO is dumping millions of gallons of radioactive water in the ocean which is twenty thousand 20, 000 hydrogen honda used car for one year.


    my weblog; best used car to buy

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:36 PM

    hello!,I really like your writing very a lot!
    percentage we communicate extra about your post on AOL?
    I need a specialist in this space to resolve my
    problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you.


    Feel free to surf to my page; homepage

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great article, Thanks for giving me this in formation. Keep posting. Memory Improvement

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous8:04 PM

    Natural cure for acne are better as a result of several parameters.
    At first, they never have side effects. See, severe
    acne are in many cases outcome of side effect caused by the cure to some other problem so you don't desire one more side effect.
    Thus, negative consequence are vital element to think about before selecting a acne medication. After
    that they are not costly and affordable than other solutions.
    Also now the most crucial cause, they are very helpful and they treat severe acne in holistic manner.


    Best Severe Acne Treatment

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous6:34 AM

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure
    whether this post is written by him as nobody else know
    such detailed about my problem. You're wonderful!
    Thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; brave frontier hack download

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous12:49 PM

    I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was
    good. I do not know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you
    are not already ;) Cheers!

    My site ... Bedroom Guardian reviews

    ReplyDelete

Libertarians do not have high IQs

I used General Social Survey data in an attempt to identify libertarians (sample size is around 1,000).  If respondents answered yes to &quo...