, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 150-157

The Impact of Processing Speed Training on Working Memory in Old Adults

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Abstract

Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have gotten different results as to whether processing speed can explain the aging of cognitive functions. Experimental analyses are needed to develop further evidence. To explore the relationship between speed and working memory in cognitive aging, processing speed intervention is conducted in the present study. Utilizing paper–pencil training, computer training, and a control group, 78 adults aged 58–83 years from Beijing participated in a speed intervention study. After 5 weeks of training, there were substantial training gains on two speed tests in two training groups, but no transfer effect on working memory was found. Discussion: The results fail to support the view that processing speed is a foundation of working memory for aging. The aging of working memory may depend more on an executive attention component.