Dual n-back working memory training evinces superior transfer effects compared to the method of loci.

Affiliation

Li W(1), Zhang Q(1), Qiao H(1), Jin D(1), Ngetich RK(1), Zhang J(1), Jin Z(2), Li L(3).
Author information:
(1)Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, High-Field Magnetic Resonance Brain Imaging Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Center for Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054, China.
(2)Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, High-Field Magnetic Resonance Brain Imaging Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Center for Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054, China. [Email]
(3)Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, High-Field Magnetic Resonance Brain Imaging Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Center for Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054, China. [Email]

Abstract

Working memory (WM) training is a prevalent intervention for multiple cognitive deficits, however, the transfer effects to other cognitive tasks from gains in WM induced by different training techniques still remains controversial. Therefore, the current study recruited three groups of young adults to investigate the memory training transference, with N-back group (NBG) (n = 50) training on dual n-back task, Memory Palace group (MPG) (n = 50) on method of loci, and a blank control group (BCG) (n = 48) receiving no training. Our results showed that both training groups separately improved WM capacity on respective trained task. For untrained tasks, both training groups enhanced performance on digit-span task, while on change detection task, significant improvement was only observed in NBG. In conclusion, while both techniques can be used as effective training methods to improve WM, the dual n-back task training method, perhaps has a more prominent transfer effect than that of method of loci.