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Title: Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance

Abstract

There is a great deal of debate concerning the benefits of working memory (WM) training and whether that training can transfer to other tasks. Although a consistent finding is that WM training programs elicit a short-term near-transfer effect (i.e., improvement in WM skills), results are inconsistent when considering persistence of such improvement and far transfer effects. In this study, we compared three groups of participants: a group that received WM training, a group that received training on how to use a mental imagery memory strategy, and a control group that received no training. Although the WM training group improved on the trained task, their posttraining performance on nontrained WM tasks did not differ from that of the other two groups. In addition, although the imagery training group’s performance on a recognition memory task increased after training, the WM training group’s performance on the task decreased after training. Participants’ descriptions of the strategies they used to remember the studied items indicated that WM training may lead people to adopt memory strategies that are less effective for other types of memory tasks. Our results indicate that WM training may have unintended consequences for other types of memory performance.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [4];  [4]
  1. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Center for Advanced Study of Language
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1426897
Report Number(s):
SAND2014-17530J
Journal ID: ISSN 0090-502X; 537392
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Memory and Cognition
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 0090-502X
Publisher:
Psychonomic Society, Inc., Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Working memory training; Mental imagery; Recognition memory; Memory strategies

Citation Formats

Matzen, Laura E., Trumbo, Michael C., Haass, Michael J., Hunter, Michael A., Silva, Austin, Stevens-Adams, Susan M., Bunting, Michael F., and O?Rourke, Polly. Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3758/s13421-016-0629-4.
Matzen, Laura E., Trumbo, Michael C., Haass, Michael J., Hunter, Michael A., Silva, Austin, Stevens-Adams, Susan M., Bunting, Michael F., & O?Rourke, Polly. Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance. United States. doi:10.3758/s13421-016-0629-4.
Matzen, Laura E., Trumbo, Michael C., Haass, Michael J., Hunter, Michael A., Silva, Austin, Stevens-Adams, Susan M., Bunting, Michael F., and O?Rourke, Polly. Tue . "Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance". United States. doi:10.3758/s13421-016-0629-4. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1426897.
@article{osti_1426897,
title = {Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance},
author = {Matzen, Laura E. and Trumbo, Michael C. and Haass, Michael J. and Hunter, Michael A. and Silva, Austin and Stevens-Adams, Susan M. and Bunting, Michael F. and O?Rourke, Polly},
abstractNote = {There is a great deal of debate concerning the benefits of working memory (WM) training and whether that training can transfer to other tasks. Although a consistent finding is that WM training programs elicit a short-term near-transfer effect (i.e., improvement in WM skills), results are inconsistent when considering persistence of such improvement and far transfer effects. In this study, we compared three groups of participants: a group that received WM training, a group that received training on how to use a mental imagery memory strategy, and a control group that received no training. Although the WM training group improved on the trained task, their posttraining performance on nontrained WM tasks did not differ from that of the other two groups. In addition, although the imagery training group’s performance on a recognition memory task increased after training, the WM training group’s performance on the task decreased after training. Participants’ descriptions of the strategies they used to remember the studied items indicated that WM training may lead people to adopt memory strategies that are less effective for other types of memory tasks. Our results indicate that WM training may have unintended consequences for other types of memory performance.},
doi = {10.3758/s13421-016-0629-4},
journal = {Memory and Cognition},
issn = {0090-502X},
number = 8,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}