ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 909-922.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00909

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The training and transfer effect of cognitive training in old adults

HAN Xiao1; SHI Daiqing1; ZHOU Xiaowen1; YANG Yinghua1; ZHU Zude2   

  1. (1 Departmant of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China) (2 School of Linguistic Sciences and Arts, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China)
  • Received:2015-05-13 Online:2016-06-15 Published:2016-06-15
  • Contact: ZHU Zude, E-mail:


Cognitive training has been widely used to delay age related cognitive decline in recent years. By collecting studies published between January 2008 and December 2014, we qualitatively examined the improvement of the performance on training tasks and the near and far transfer effects of cognitive training on healthy older adults. We found that most of the experiments revealed positive effects on training tasks. Moreover, the majority of the experiments which had reported maintenance of the training effect were based on cognitive control training or comprehensive cognitive training. Futhermore, most of the transfer effects were obtained in fluid intelligence related processes such as working memory and attention. By employing neuroimaging techniques, training related structural and functional changes were found, indicating neural plasticity mechanisms in cognitive training. Future studies should combine behavioral and neural indices to comprehensively test whether the efficacy and transfer effects of cognitive training could be applied/ transferred to daily life function in healthy older adults, and investigate the modulation or mediation effect of individual differences (e.g., trainability) on cognitive training.

Key words: cognitive training, healthy older adults, training effect, transfer effect