Departmental Seminar: Working memory training does not improve performance on measures of intelligence or other measures of far transfer: Evidence from a metaanalytic review
Professor Monica Melby-Lervag (University of Oslo)
Thursday, 01 December 2016, 12pm to 1pm
Lecture Theatre C, Department of Experimental Psychology, Tinbergen Building, 9 South Parks Road, Oxford
Hosted by Professor Kate Nation
It has been claimed that working memory training programs produce diverse beneficial effects. In this talk I will presents a meta-analysis of 145 working memory training studies that have examined transfer to other measures. Immediately following training there were reliable improvements on similar to the tasks that were trained. However for more far transfer measures such as nonverbal ability, verbal ability, word decoding, reading comprehension, arithmetic there was no convincing evidence of any reliable improvements when working memory training was compared to a treated control condition. These results seriously question the practical and theoretical importance of current computerized working memory programs as methods of training working memory skills. I will discuss the results in the light of the general debate that has been concerning effects from working memory and cognitive training, and also look into how publication bias influence these studies.