Brain plasticity is one of the reasons why humans are so incredible. We have the ability to remold our brains to adapt to certain situations, which is why brain training can be so effective! A research team wanted to compare the effects of a brain-plasticity based training program as the experimental group versus a general educational training program as the control group. All of the participants were at least 65 years of age. The brain-plasticity training program was designed to increase the speed and accuracy of auditory information and to stimulate more rapid changes in the brain’s plasticity. The auditory information was first slowed down to exaggerate the pronounced sounds, but was at normal speed by the end of the study. The educational training program involved videos about history, art, and literature and was designed to simply stimulate a person’s cognition.
Participants in the brain-plasticity group performed significantly better on auditory memory and attention tasks. They out performed the control group on overall memory, digit span memorization tasks, word list recall tasks, letter-number sequencing, and other auditory memory tasks. This type of brain-plasticity based training has shown promising results in being able to improve cognitive functions and could be utilized for different types of patients with central auditory deficiencies!
Smith, G. E., Housen, P., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R. F., Mahncke, H. W., & Zelinski, E. M. (2009). A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity‐based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(4), 594-603.