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Limited Effects of Set Shifting Training in Healthy Older Adults
Abo Akad Univ, Dept Psychol, Turku, Finland..
Abo Akad Univ, Dept Psychol, Turku, Finland..
Univ Turku, Turku PET Ctr, Turku, Finland..
Student Hlth Care, Porvoo, Finland..
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2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 9, article id 69Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our ability to flexibly shift between tasks or task sets declines in older age. As this decline may have adverse effects on everyday life of elderly people, it is of interest to study whether set shifting ability can be trained, and if training effects generalize to other cognitive tasks. Here, we report a randomized controlled trial where healthy older adults trained set shifting with three different set shifting tasks. The training group (n = 17) performed adaptive set shifting training for 5 weeks with three training sessions a week (45 min/session), while the active control group (n = 16) played three different computer games for the same period. Both groups underwent extensive pre-and post-testing and a 1-year follow-up. Compared to the controls, the training group showed significant improvements on the trained tasks. Evidence for near transfer in the training group was very limited, as it was seen only on overall accuracy on an untrained computerized set shifting task. No far transfer to other cognitive functions was observed. One year later, the training group was still better on the trained tasks but the single near transfer effect had vanished. The results suggest that computerized set shifting training in the elderly shows long-lasting effects on the trained tasks but very little benefit in terms of generalization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2017. Vol. 9, article id 69
Keywords [en]
set shifting, task switching, cognitive training, executive functions, normal aging
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65230DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00069ISI: 000397138200001PubMedID: 28386226OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-65230DiVA, id: diva2:1157623
Available from: 2017-11-16 Created: 2017-11-16 Last updated: 2017-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Neely, Anna Stigsdotter
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