Computerised cognitive training in pupils with mild intellectual disability
Nastasija Mahne, Karin Bakračevič & Vojko Kavčič
Abstract: A lot of studies investigated near and far transfer effects of cognitive training (especially working memory training), but only few were carried out on children with mild intellectual disability. For this reason, we wanted to study the effects of computerised cognitive training (using virtual labyrinth) on cognitive functions of children with mild intellectual disability. We were particularly interested in its effects on executive functions and the related cognitive functions: shifting, verbal fluency, working memory, long-term memory and processing speed. Twenty-one fourth to ninth graders aged 10 to 19 participated, 11 in the experimental and 10 in the control group. The experimental group participated in 12 training sessions, each lasting 35 minutes. Intervention took place in groups, twice a week. The control group was passive and was not involved in any activities. Before and after trainings both groups were tested with selected neuropsychological tests and the CogState computer battery. The results showed that in the second wave, the experimental group considerably improved its results on several measurements of cognitive functions. Compared to the control group, experimental group showed significantly higher total gains on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT; total score and test IV score) and the Trail Making Test, Part A. The training therefore had the largest effect on the speed of processing visual information and verbal memory.
Keywords: computerised cognitive training, children with mild intellectual disability, executive functions, memory, processing speed
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