What is Computer-Assisted Cognitive Training?

Computer assisted cognitive training consists of brain exercises that allow individuals to improve their mental processing speed, working memory, attention skills, listening skills, multisensory processing, self-confidence and self-control. All these skills are necessary for individuals to perform and succeed in academic areas and later in their careers and lives.

Cognitive training has been one of the effective interventions since the 1930s, which is why computer assisted cognitive remediation in the 1950s became popular. With the arrival of better technologies, the treatment became widely used in 1989.

The treatment has shown its ability to effectively resolve issues concerning impulse control, attention, complex reasoning, and memory in both children and adults. This is why it became one of the highly used remedies for strokes, autism, ADHD/ ADD, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and other cognitive impairments.

Functional MRIs further proved the treatment’s effectiveness as 89% of traumatic brain injury sufferers showed improvement in executive functioning. In addition, 60% of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sufferers no longer met the criteria after being 20 sessions of computer-assisted cognitive training.

Computer assisted cognitive training has also proved to be helpful in maintaining cognitive functions for older adults. The result of a study suggested that the therapy could improve seniors’ cognitive functions, especially episodic memory, visual and verbal working memory, verbal learning, information processing speed, and the ability to block out interferences.

The same study also suggested that this training may also help improve minor cognitive deficits that are age related and maintain the results for long. As a result, computer assisted cognitive training has become one of the possible treatments for slowing down Alzheimer’s disease.

Now this therapy encompasses different repetitive cues, including auditory cues for ADHD sufferers. Cue signals have been used to increase self error detection and correction as well as decrease impulsivity. However, a therapist can choose to provide the treatment without other techniques. During the first 30 minutes, the therapist can interact with the patient at the computer. The rest of the session can then be considered as a debriefing or process period.

Because of the delicate nature of this therapy, it is important that those undergoing this therapy only avail the services of a psychologist or professional who has completed doctoral level courses from the American Psychological Association. Supervision may also be required by a Ph.D. level psychologist.