Enhancing Cognitive Functioning in Healthly Older Adults: a Systematic Review of the Clinical Significance of Commercially Available Computerized Cognitive Training in Preventing Cognitive Decline

Abstract

Successfully assisting older adults to maintain or improve cognitive function, particularly when they are dealing with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), remains a major challenge. Cognitive training may stimulate neuroplasticity thereby increasing cognitive and brain reserve. Commercial brain training programs are computerized, readily-available, easy-to-administer and adaptive but often lack supportive data and their clinical validation literature has not been previously reviewed. Therefore, in this review, we report the characteristics of commercially available brain training programs, critically assess the number and quality of studies evaluating the empirical evidence of these programs for promoting brain health in healthy older adults, and discuss underlying causal mechanisms. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar and each program’s website for relevant studies reporting the effects of computerized cognitive training on cognitively healthy older adults. The evidence for each program was assessed via the number and quality (PEDro score) of studies, including Randomized Control Trials (RCTs). Programs with clinical studies were subsequently classified as possessing Level I, II or III evidence. Out of 18 identified programs, 7 programs were investigated in 26 studies including follow-ups. Two programs were identified as possessing Level I evidence, three programs demonstrated Level II evidence and an additional two programs demonstrated Level III evidence. Overall, studies showed generally high methodological quality (average PEDro score = 7.05). Although caution must be taken regarding any potential bias due to selective reporting, current evidence supports that at least some commercially available computerized brain training products can assist in promoting healthy brain aging.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

References

  1. AccessEconomics (2004). Delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease: projections and issues.

  2. Anand, R., Chapman, S. B., Rackley, A., Keebler, M., Zientz, J., & Hart, J. (2011). Gist reasoning training in cognitively normal seniors. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(9), 961–968.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Anderson, S., White-Schwoch, T., Parbery-Clark, A., & Kraus, N. (2013). Reversal of age-related neural timing delays with training. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(11), 4357–4362.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, S., White-Schwoch, T., Choi, H. J., & Kraus, N. (2014). Partial maintenance of auditory-based cognitive training benefits in older adults. Neuropsychologia, 62, 286–296.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Anderson-Hanley, C., Arciero, P. J., Brickman, A. M., Nimon, J. P., Okuma, N., Westen, S. C., et al. (2012). Exergaming and older adult cognition: A cluster randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 42(2), 109–119.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bahar-Fuchs, A., Clare, L., & Woods, B. (2013). Cognitive training and cognitive rehabilitation for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Ball, K., & Owsley, C. (1993). The useful field of view test: a new technique for evaluating age-related declines in visual function. Journal of the American Optometric Association, 64(1), 71–79.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Ball, K. K., Beard, B. L., Roenker, D. L., Miller, R. L., & Griggs, D. S. (1988). Age and visual search: Expanding the useful field of view. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 5(12), 2210–2219.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Ball, K., Berch, D. B., Helmers, K. F., Jobe, J. B., Leveck, M. D., Marsiske, M., et al. (2002a). Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(18), 2271–2281.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Ball, K. K., Wadley, V. G., & Edwards, J. D. (2002b). Advances in technology used to assess and retrain older drivers. Gerontechnology, 1(4), 251–261.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ball, K. K., Ross, L. A., Roth, D. L., & Edwards, J. D. (2013). Speed of Processing Training in the ACTIVE Study How Much Is Needed and Who Benefits? Journal of Aging and Health, 25(8 suppl), 65S–84S.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Ballesteros, S., Prieto, A., Mayas, J., Toril, P., Pita, C., Ponce de León, L., et al. (2014). Brain training with non-action video games enhances aspects of cognition in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, 277. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00277.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ballesteros, S., Mayas, J., Prieto, A., Toril, P., Pita, C., Laura, P. D. L., et al. (2015a). A randomized controlled trial of brain training with non-action video games in older adults: results of the 3-month follow-up. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 45. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2015.00045.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Ballesteros, S., Prieto, A., Mayas, J., & Waterworth, J. A. (2015b). Corrigendum: Brain training with non-action video games enhances aspects of cognition in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 82.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Baltes, P. B., & Lindenberger, U. (1988). On the range of cognitive plasticity in old age as a function of experience: 15 years of intervention research. Behavior Therapy, 19(3), 283–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Baltes, P. B., Kliegl, R., & Dittmann-Kohli, F. (1988). On the locus of training gains in research on the plasticity of fluid intelligence in old age. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(3), 392–400.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Bamidis, P. D., Fissler, P., Papageorgiou, S. G., Zilidou, V., Konstantinidis, E. I., Billis, A. S., et al. (2015). Gains in cognition through combined cognitive and physical training: the role of training dosage and severity of neurocognitive disorder. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 152.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Barnes, D. E., Yaffe, K., Belfor, N., Jagust, W. J., DeCarli, C., Reed, B. R., et al. (2009). Computer-based cognitive training for mild cognitive impairment: results from a pilot randomized, controlled trial. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 23(3), 205–210. doi:10.1097/WAD.0b013e31819c6137.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Barnes, D. E., Santos-Modesitt, W., Poelke, G., Kramer, A. F., Castro, C., Middleton, L. E., et al. (2013). The Mental Activity and eXercise (MAX) trial: a randomized controlled trial to enhance cognitive function in older adults. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(9), 797–804.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Berry, A. S., Zanto, T. P., Clapp, W. C., Hardy, J. L., Delahunt, P. B., Mahncke, H. W., et al. (2010). The influence of perceptual training on working memory in older adults. PloS One, 5(7), e11537.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Brainage.com official site - brain age: concentration training for Nintendo 3DS. http://brainage.nintendo.com/. Accessed 16 Sept 2015.

  22. Brainhq.com. http://www.brainhq.com/#. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.

  23. Brayne, C. (2007). The elephant in the room—healthy brains in later life, epidemiology and public health. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8(3), 233–239.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Brehmer, Y., Rieckmann, A., Bellander, M., Westerberg, H., Fischer, H., & Bäckman, L. (2011). Neural correlates of training-related working-memory gains in old age. NeuroImage, 58(4), 1110–1120. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.06.079.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Buonomano, D. V., & Merzenich, M. M. (1998). Cortical plasticity: from synapses to maps. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 21(1), 149–186.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Buschert, V., Bokde, A. L., & Hampel, H. (2010). Cognitive intervention in Alzheimer disease. Nature Reviews Neurology, 6(9), 508–517.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Cameirão, M. S., Badia, S. B. I., Oller, E. D., & Verschure, P. F. M. J. (2010). Neurorehabilitation using the virtual reality based Rehabilitation Gaming System: methodology, design, psychometrics, usability and validation. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 7, 48. doi:10.1186/1743-0003-7-48.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Casey, D. A., Antimisiaris, D., & O’Brien, J. (2010). Drugs for Alzheimer’s disease: are they effective? Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 35(4), 208–211.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. Chapman, S. B., Aslan, S., Spence, J. S., Hart, J. J., Bartz, E. K., Didehbani, N., et al. (2013). Neural Mechanisms of Brain Plasticity with Complex Cognitive Training in Healthy Seniors. Cerebral Cortex. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht234.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  30. Cicerone, K. D., Langenbahn, D. M., Braden, C., Malec, J. F., Kalmar, K., Fraas, M., et al. (2011). Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation: updated review of the literature from 2003 through 2008. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(4), 519–530.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Cogmed.com cogmed working memory training. http://www.cogmed.com/. Accessed 17 Sept 2015.

  32. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Dakim.com Dakim brainfitness. https://www.dakim.com/. Accessed 17 Sept 2015.

  34. Edwards, J. D., Wadley, V. G., Myers, R. S., Roenker, D. L., Cissell, G. M., & Ball, K. K. (2002). Transfer of a Speed of Processing Intervention to Near and Far Cognitive Functions. Gerontology, 48(5), 329–340.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Edwards, J. D., Vance, D. E., Wadley, V. G., Cissell, G. M., Roenker, D. L., & Ball, K. K. (2005). Reliability and validity of useful field of view test scores as administered by personal computer. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 27(5), 529–543.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Edwards, J. D., Ross, L. A., Wadley, V. G., Clay, O. J., Crowe, M., Roenker, D. L., et al. (2006). The useful field of view test: normative data for older adults. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 21(4), 275–286.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Edwards, J. D., Valdés, E. G., Peronto, C., Castora-Binkley, M., Alwerdt, J., Andel, R., et al. (2013). The efficacy of InSight cognitive training to improve useful field of view performance: A brief report. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70(3), 417–422. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbt113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Engvig, A., Fjell, A. M., Westlye, L. T., Moberget, T., Sundseth, Ø., Larsen, V. A., et al. (2010). Effects of memory training on cortical thickness in the elderly. NeuroImage, 52(4), 1667–1676.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Engvig, A., Fjell, A. M., Westlye, L. T., Moberget, T., Sundseth, Ø., Larsen, V. A., et al. (2012). Memory training impacts short-term changes in aging white matter: A longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study. Human Brain Mapping, 33(10), 2390–2406.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Fernandez, A. (2010). Transforming brain health with digital tools to assess, enhance and treat cognition across the lifespan: the state of the brain health market. <http://www.sharpbrains.com/executive-summary/>. Accessed 9 Feb 2011.

  41. Frantzidis, C. A., Ladas, A.-K. I., Vivas, A. B., Tsolaki, M., & Bamidis, P. D. (2014). Cognitive and physical training for the elderly: Evaluating outcome efficacy by means of neurophysiological synchronization. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93(1), 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.01.007.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Fratiglioni, L., Paillard-Borg, S., & Winblad, B. (2004). An active and socially integrated lifestyle in late life might protect against dementia. The Lancet Neurology, 3(6), 343–353.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Galante, E., Venturini, G., & Fiaccadori, C. (2007). Computer-based cognitive intervention for dementia: Preliminary results of a randomized clinical trial. The Italian Journal of Occupational Medicine and Ergonomics, 29(3 suppl B), B26–B32.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Gates, N., Sachdev, P., Singh, M. F., & Valenzuela, M. (2011). Cognitive and memory training in adults at risk of dementia: A systematic review. BMC Geriatrics, 11(1), 55. doi:10.1186/1471-2318-11-55.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Geyer, J., Insel, P., Farzin, F., Sternberg, D., Hardy, J. L., Scanlon, M., et al. (2015). Evidence for age-associated cognitive decline from internet game scores. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 1(2), 260–267.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Günther, V. K., Schäfer, P., Holzner, B., & Kemmler, G. (2003). Long-term improvements in cognitive performance through computer-assisted cognitive training: A pilot study in a residential home for older people. Aging & Mental Health, 7(3), 200–206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Haier, R. J., Siegel, B. V., Jr., MacLachlan, A., Soderling, E., Lottenberg, S., & Buchsbaum, M. S. (1992). Regional glucose metabolic changes after learning a complex visuospatial/motor task: A positron emission tomographic study. Brain Research, 570(1), 134–143.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Haimov, I., Hanuka, E., & Horowitz, Y. (2008). Chronic insomnia and cognitive functioning among older adults. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 6(1), 32–54.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Hardy, J., & Scanlon, M. (2009). The science behind lumosity.

  50. Hardy, J. L., Nelson, R. A., Thomason, M. E., Sternberg, D. A., Katovich, K., Farzin, F., et al. (2015). Enhancing cognitive abilities with comprehensive training: A large, online, randomized, active-controlled trial. PloS One, 10(9), e0134467.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Jobe, J. B., Smith, D. M., Ball, K., Tennstedt, S. L., Marsiske, M., Willis, S. L., et al. (2001). ACTIVE: A cognitive intervention trial to promote independence in older adults. Controlled Clinical Trials, 22(4), 453–479.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Johansson, B. B. (2004). Brain plasticity in health and disease. The Keio Journal of Medicine, 53(4), 231–246.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Koepp, M., Gunn, R., Lawrence, A., Cunningham, V., Dagher, A., Jones, T., et al. (1998). Evidence for striatal dopamine release during a video game. Nature, 393(6682), 266–267.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Kueider, A. M., Parisi, J. M., Gross, A. L., & Rebok, G. W. (2012). Computerized cognitive training with older adults: A systematic review. PloS One, 7(7), e40588.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Lampit, A., Hallock, H., & Valenzuela, M. (2014). Computerized cognitive training in cognitively healthy older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of effect modifiers. PLoS Medicine, 11(11), e1001756.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Landau, S. M., Marks, S. M., Mormino, E. C., Rabinovici, G. D., Oh, H., O’Neil, J. P., et al. (2012). Association of lifetime cognitive engagement and low beta-amyloid deposition. Archives of Neurology, 69(5), 623–629.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Leung, N. T., Tam, H. M., Chu, L. W., Kwok, T. C., Chan, F., Lam, L. C., et al. (2015). Neural plastic effects of cognitive training on aging brain. Neural Plasticity, 501, 535618. doi:10.1155/2015/535618.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Lewis, M. S., & Miller, L. S. (2007). Executive control functioning and functional ability in older adults. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 21(2), 274–285.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Lumosity.com brain games & brain training - lumosity. http://www.lumosity.com/. Accessed 17 Sept 2015.

  60. Maher, C. G., Sherrington, C., Herbert, R. D., Moseley, A. M., & Elkins, M. (2003). Reliability of the PEDro scale for rating quality of randomized controlled trials. Physical Therapy, 83(8), 713–721.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. Mahncke, H. W., Connor, B. B., Appelman, J., Ahsanuddin, O. N., Hardy, J. L., Wood, R. A., et al. (2006). Memory enhancement in healthy older adults using a brain plasticity-based training program: A randomized, controlled study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(33), 12523–12528.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Mayas, J., Parmentier, F. B., Andrés, P., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Plasticity of attentional functions in older adults after non-action video game training: a randomized controlled trial. PloS One, 9(3), e92269.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  63. Merzenich, M. M. & Jenkins, W. M. (1993). Cortical representation of learned behaviors. In P. Andersen (Ed.), Memory Concepts (pp. 437-453). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

  64. Merzenich, M. M. & Jenkins, W. M. (1999). In S. Levy-Reiner (Ed.), The adaptable brain (Vol. II, pp 37-50). Washington, DC: Library of Congress. 

  65. Miller, K. J., Dye, R. V., Kim, J., Jennings, J. L., O’Toole, E., Wong, J., et al. (2013). Effect of a computerized brain exercise program on cognitive performance in older adults. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(7), 655–663. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2013.01.077.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Mowszowski, L., Batchelor, J., & Naismith, S. L. (2010). Early intervention for cognitive decline: can cognitive training be used as a selective prevention technique? International Psychogeriatrics, 22(04), 537–548.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Mybraintrainer.com brain exercises, brain age test and cognitive exercises by MyBrainTrainer. http://www.mybraintrainer.com/. Accessed 17 Sept 2015.

  68. Ngandu, T., Lehtisalo, J., Solomon, A., Levälahti, E., Ahtiluoto, S., Antikainen, R., et al. (2015). A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 385(9984), 2255–2263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Nouchi, R., Taki, Y., Takeuchi, H., Hashizume, H., Akitsuki, Y., Shigemune, Y., et al. (2012). Brain training game improves executive functions and processing speed in the elderly: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One, 7(1), e29676.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Nouchi, R., Taki, Y., Takeuchi, H., Hashizume, H., Nozawa, T., Kambara, T., et al. (2013). Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: A randomized controlled trial. PloS One, 8(2), e55518.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Nyberg, L., Sandblom, J., Jones, S., Neely, A. S., Petersson, K. M., Ingvar, M., et al. (2003). Neural correlates of training-related memory improvement in adulthood and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(23), 13728–13733.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. O’Brien, J. L., Edwards, J. D., Maxfield, N. D., Peronto, C. L., Williams, V. A., & Lister, J. J. (2013). Cognitive training and selective attention in the aging brain: An electrophysiological study. Clinical Neurophysiology, 124(11), 2198–2208.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Olesen, P. J., Westerberg, H., & Klingberg, T. (2003). Increased prefrontal and parietal activity after training of working memory. Nature Neuroscience, 7(1), 75–79.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  74. Owen, A. M., Hampshire, A., Grahn, J. A., Stenton, R., Dajani, S., Burns, A. S., et al. (2010). Putting brain training to the test. Nature, 465(7299), 775–778.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Owsley, C., Ball, K., McGwin, G., Sloane, M. E., Roenker, D. L., White, M. F., et al. (1998). Visual processing impairment and risk of motor vehicle crash among older adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 279(14), 1083–1088.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Pascual-Leone, A., Amedi, A., Fregni, F., & Merabet, L. B. (2005). The plastic human brain cortex. Neuroscience, 28(1), 377–401.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  77. Peretz, C., Korczyn, A. D., Shatil, E., Aharonson, V., Birnboim, S., & Giladi, N. (2011). Computer-based, personalized cognitive training versus classical computer games: A randomized double-blind prospective trial of cognitive stimulation. Neuroepidemiology, 36(2), 91–99.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Petersen, R. C., Doody, R., Kurz, A., Mohs, R. C., Morris, J. C., Rabins, P. V., et al. (2001). Current concepts in mild cognitive impairment. Archives of Neurology, 58(12), 1985–1992.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Rebok, G. W., Ball, K., Guey, L. T., Jones, R. N., Kim, H. Y., King, J. W., et al. (2014). Ten-year effects of the advanced cognitive training for independent and vital elderly cognitive training trial on cognition and everyday functioning in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(1), 16–24.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Recanzone, G. H., Merzenich, M. M., Jenkins, W. M., Grajski, K. A., & Dinse, H. R. (1992). Topographic reorganization of the hand representation in cortical area 3b owl monkeys trained in a frequency-discrimination task. Journal of Neurophysiology, 67(5), 1031–1056.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  81. Recanzone, G. H., Schreiner, C. E., & Merzenich, M. M. (1993). Plasticity in the frequency representation of primary auditory cortex following discrimination training in adult owl monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience, 13(1), 87–103.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  82. Reitz, C., Brayne, C., & Mayeux, R. (2011). Epidemiology of Alzheimer disease. Nature Reviews Neurology, 7(3), 137–152.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Rosen, A. C., Sugiura, L., Kramer, J. H., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2011). Cognitive training changes hippocampal function in mild cognitive impairment: A pilot study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 3, 349–357.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Ruthirakuhan, M., Luedke, A. C., Tam, A., Goel, A., Kurji, A., & Garcia, A. (2012). Use of physical and intellectual activities and socialization in the management of cognitive decline of aging and in dementia: A review. Journal of Aging Research, 2012, 384875. doi:10.1155/2012/384875.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Sanders, A. F. (1970). Some aspects of the selective process in the functional visual field. Ergonomics, 13(1), 101–117.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Scanlon, M., Drescher, D., & Sarkar, K. (2007). Improvement of visual attention and working memory through a web-based cognitive training program. A Lumos Labs White Paper.

  87. Scarmeas, N., Levy, G., Tang, M. X., Manly, J., & Stern, Y. (2001). Influence of leisure activity on the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 57(12), 2236–2242.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Schaie, K. W., & Willis, S. L. (1986). Can decline in adult intellectual functioning be reversed. Developmental Psychology, 22(2), 223–232.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Schonknecht, P., Pantel, J., Kruse, A., & Schroder, J. (2005). Prevalence and natural course of aging-associated cognitive decline in a population-based sample of young-old subjects. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(11), 2071–2077. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.11.2071.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Shah, T., Verdile, G., Sohrabi, H., Campbell, A., Putland, E., Cheetham, C., et al. (2014). A combination of physical activity and computerized brain training improves verbal memory and increases cerebral glucose metabolism in the elderly. Translational Psychiatry, 4(12), e487.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Shao, Y.-K., Mang, J., Li, P.-L., Wang, J., Deng, T., & Xu, Z.-X. (2015). Computer-based cognitive programs for improvement of memory, processing speed and executive function during age-related cognitive decline: a meta-analysis. PloS One, 10(6), e0130831.

  92. Shatil, E. (2013). Does combined cognitive training and physical activity training enhance cognitive abilities more than either alone? a four-condition randomized controlled trial among healthy older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 5, 8. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2013.00008.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Shatil, E., Mikulecká, J., Bellotti, F., & Bureš, V. (2014). Novel television-based cognitive training improves working memory and executive function. PloS One, 9(7), e101472. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101472.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  94. Simpson, T., Camfield, D., Pipingas, A., Macpherson, H., & Stough, C. (2012). Improved processing speed: Online computer-based cognitive training in older adults. Educational Gerontology, 38(7), 445–458.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. Slegers, K., van Boxtel, M., & Jolles, J. (2009). Effects of computer training and internet usage on cognitive abilities in older adults: A randomized controlled study. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 21(1), 43–54.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Small, G. W., Silverman, D. H. S., Siddarth, P., Ercoli, L. M., Miller, K. J., Lavretsky, H., et al. (2006). Effects of a 14-day healthy longevity lifestyle program on cognition and brain function. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14(6), 538–545.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  97. Smith, G. E., Housen, P., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R. F., Mahncke, H. W., et al. (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.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Stern, Y. (2006). Cognitive reserve and Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 20, S69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Stern, Y. (2012). Cognitive reserve in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. The Lancet Neurology, 11(11), 1006–1012.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Strenziok, M., Parasuraman, R., Clarke, E., Cisler, D. S., Thompson, J. C., & Greenwood, P. M. (2014). Neurocognitive enhancement in older adults: Comparison of three cognitive training tasks to test a hypothesis of training transfer in brain connectivity. NeuroImage, 85, 1027–1039. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.07.069.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  101. Tárraga, L., Boada, M., Modinos, G., Espinosa, A., Diego, S., Morera, A., et al. (2006). A randomised pilot study to assess the efficacy of an interactive, multimedia tool of cognitive stimulation in Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 77(10), 1116–1121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Valenzuela, M. J., & Sachdev, P. (2006). Brain reserve and dementia: A systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 36(04), 441–454.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  103. Valenzuela, M. J., Jones, M., Wen, W., Rae, C., Graham, S., Shnier, R., et al. (2003). Memory training alters hippocampal neurochemistry in healthy elderly. Neuroreport, 14(10), 1333–1337.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  104. Verghese, J., Lipton, R. B., Katz, M. J., Hall, C. B., Derby, C. A., Kuslansky, G., et al. (2003). Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(25), 2508–2516.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  105. Verghese, J., Mahoney, J., Ambrose, A. F., Wang, C., & Holtzer, R. (2010). Effect of cognitive remediation on gait in sedentary seniors. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 65(12), 1338–1343. doi:10.1093/gerona/glq127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Vinogradov, S., Fisher, M., Holland, C., Shelly, W., Wolkowitz, O., & Mellon, S. H. (2009). Is serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor a biomarker for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia? Biological Psychiatry, 66(6), 549–553.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  107. Walser, R. F., Meserve, B. B., & Boucher, T. R. (2009). The effectiveness of thoracic spine manipulation for the management of musculoskeletal conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 17(4), 237–246. doi:10.1179/106698109791352085.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. Willis, S. L. (1987). Cognitive training and everyday competence. Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics, 7, 159–188.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  109. Willis, S. L., Tennstedt, S. L., Marsiske, M., Ball, K., Elias, J., Koepke, K. M., et al. (2006). Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 296(23), 2805–2814.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  110. Wilson, R., Scherr, P., Schneider, J., Tang, Y., & Bennett, D. (2007). Relation of cognitive activity to risk of developing Alzheimer disease. Neurology, 69(20), 1911–1920.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  111. Wolinsky, F. D., Unverzagt, F. W., Smith, D. M., Jones, R., Stoddard, A., & Tennstedt, S. L. (2006a). The ACTIVE cognitive training trial and health-related quality of life: protection that lasts for 5 years. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61(12), 1324–1329.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  112. Wolinsky, F. D., Unverzagt, F. W., Smith, D. M., Jones, R., Wright, E., & Tennstedt, S. L. (2006b). The effects of the ACTIVE cognitive training trial on clinically relevant declines in health-related quality of life. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 61(5), S281–S287.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. Wolinsky, F. D., Vander Weg, M. W., Howren, M. B., Jones, M. P., & Dotson, M. M. (2013). A randomized controlled trial of cognitive training using a visual speed of processing intervention in middle aged and older adults. PloS One, 8, (5), e61624. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061624.

  114. Woods, S. P., Weinborn, M., Velnoweth, A., Rooney, A., & Bucks, R. S. (2012). Memory for intentions is uniquely associated with instrumental activities of daily living in healthy older adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18(1), 134–138. doi:10.1017/S1355617711001263.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  115. Woodward, M., & Brodaty, H. (2007). Dementia risk reduction: the evidence: Alzheimer’s Australia.

  116. Xerri, C., Merzenich, M. M., Jenkins, W., & Santucci, S. (1999). Representational plasticity in cortical area 3b paralleling tactual-motor skill acquisition in adult monkeys. Cerebral Cortex, 9(3), 264–276.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  117. Zelinski, E. M., Spina, L. M., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R. F., Mahncke, H. W., et al. (2011). Improvement in memory with plasticity-based adaptive cognitive training: Results of the 3-month follow-up. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(2), 258–265.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

TS is supported by the Australian Postgraduate Award from the University of Western Australia, the Research Excellence Award from Edith Cowan University and the Freemasons of Western Australia Education Grant 2010 and 2011. TS and MW reviewed the study abstracts and program relevant websites. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript. The McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation Inc. contributed financial and in kind support.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ralph N. Martins.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Shah, T.M., Weinborn, M., Verdile, G. et al. Enhancing Cognitive Functioning in Healthly Older Adults: a Systematic Review of the Clinical Significance of Commercially Available Computerized Cognitive Training in Preventing Cognitive Decline. Neuropsychol Rev 27, 62–80 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11065-016-9338-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Computerized cognitive training
  • Brain training
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease