Allgemeine Psychologie und Neuropsychologie

Abgeschlossene Projekte

Cognitive Interventions with Pupils

Cognitive Interventions with Pupils - Transfer effects and multidisciplinary perspectives

Barbara Studer, Minna Törmänen, Katja Margelisch, Doris Eckstein, Sarah Mendelowitsch, Walter J. Perrig
Student team: Christa von Dach, Harro Wyss, Antonia Hogrefe, Janine Ritter, Beatrice Schütz, Valentina Meili, Claudia Urwyler

The aim of this multidisciplinary study is to investigate the effects of training of core functions with children with and without different learning disabilities, like AD/HD, developmental dyslexia, dyscalculia or specific language impairment. In addition to working memory training (BrainTwister), a perceptual training is applied which concentrates on auditory-visual matching (Audilex), as well as an implicit concept learning task (ImplOrth), which is used as an active control group intervention.

In our previous studies, positive intervention effects and transfer effects were found after short and intensive interventions. Working memory training with typically developed children demonstrated improvements in cognitive abilities, like in their memory span and verbal skills. Auditory-visual matching training had positive effects on cognitive abilities of children with learning disabilities; improvements were found in reading skills, central auditory processing and general school behavior. In addition, training has resulted in plastic neural changes in the auditory cortex.
Building upon these findings and in order to evaluate individually adapted interventions, we expect improvements on mental performance, specifically in executive functions (working memory, attention, auditory and visual processing), scholastic abilities (language and mathematical skills), as well as in general intelligence.

The study started in April 2013 with 140 pupils from 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade from regular Swiss elementary schools and will end in October 2013.