Limited effects of set shifting training in healthy older adults

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Petra Grönholm-Nyman, Anna Soveri, Juha O. Rinne, Emilia Ek, Alexandra Nyholm, Anna Stigsdotter Neely, Matti Laine
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume number: 9


Our ability to flexibly shift between tasks or task sets declines in
older age. As this decline may have adverse effects on everyday life of
elderly people, it is of interest to study whether set shifting ability
can be trained, and if training effects generalize to other cognitive
tasks. Here, we report a randomized controlled trial where healthy older
adults trained set shifting with three different set shifting tasks.
The training group (n = 17) performed adaptive set shifting
training for 5 weeks with three training sessions a week (45
min/session), while the active control group (n = 16) played
three different computer games for the same period. Both groups
underwent extensive pre- and post-testing and a 1-year follow-up.
Compared to the controls, the training group showed significant
improvements on the trained tasks. Evidence for near transfer in the
training group was very limited, as it was seen only on overall accuracy
on an untrained computerized set shifting task. No far transfer to
other cognitive functions was observed. One year later, the training
group was still better on the trained tasks but the single near transfer
effect had vanished. The results suggest that computerized set shifting
training in the elderly shows long-lasting effects on the trained tasks
but very little benefit in terms of generalization.

Last updated on 2019-25-06 at 05:37