ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 1527-1543.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01527

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 Working memory training in mental disorders

 PAN Dong-ni; LI Xue-bing   

  1.  (Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10049, China)
  • Received:2016-12-05 Online:2017-09-15 Published:2017-07-14
  • Contact: LI Xue-bing, E-mail: E-mail:E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:   In recent years, working memory deficit has been found to be associated with various types of mental disorders, which prompted researchers to examine whether working memory training can be used as an intervention for psychiatric patients. Indeed, it has been found that working memory training increases near-transfer effects, far-transfer effects, and direct clinical benefits in patients with ADHD, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorder, addiction disorder, and autism, by directly enhancing working memory capacity or indirectly increasing other training related abilities. Moreover, due to the nature of mental disorders, an effective training program should take into account three aspects: general components, symptom/disorder-specific components (e.g., emotion working memory training), as well as auxiliary components (e.g., motivation, strategy, and slow wave sleep). Future studies should focus on developing tailored training paradigms and training procedures for psychiatric patients with different types and/or stages of disorders, and moving towards a personalized training procedure. Developing effective evaluation tools are also essential to understand the mechanisms of working memory training on improving symptoms and well-being of patients.

Key words: working memory training, mental disorder, intervention, effective components

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