The European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) together with the Department of Psychology at the Humboldt University Berlin are hosting a workshop on "new directions in brain training - effectiveness, methodology and application of cognitive interventions" that will feature a series of presentations and discussions by leading scientists in the field of cognitive training research as well as a poster session for junior scientists in Berlin, Germany running October 11-13, 2012.
Aims of the workshop
- Establish the state of the art in the field of cognitive training research by reviewing and discussing latest findings from different cognitive domains (e.g., training of working memory, episodic memory, executive control, speed of processing, reasoning or complex natural tasks such as video games) and discussing new methodological approaches.
- Integrating the developmental, differential and neuroscientific findings about training in different cognitive and training domains in order to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying training-induced cognitive and neural plasticity.
- Outline new approaches to determine to which extent cognitive training in a laboratory context can be transferred to activities of daily living, such as academic abilities, and whether cognitive training is an effective tool to compensate for cognitive deficits associated with neurocognitive disorders.
- Propose long-term best-practice guidelines (theoretical, conceptual and methodological) for research in the field of cognitive training
Throughout the entire lifespan, individuals are required to adapt to the demands of changing developmental contexts and dynamic social environments. The potential modifiability of a person's cognitive and neural processes resulting from these adaptations has been referred to as plasticity. One way to understand plasticity is to apply training interventions and to measure their effects in trained and untrained situations.
Recently, the literature on cognitive interventions has been growing rapidly, showing that plasticity is present across the lifespan. However, the long-term maintenance as well as the transferability of training gains strongly depends on the type and the intensity of the intervention. Findings from cognitive neuroscience indicated that cognitive training often induces practice-related changes in the neural substrate, pointing to training-induced plasticity in a number of cortical and subcortical regions. Thus, cognitive training may be a promising tool for understanding basic mechanisms of adaptive behavior as well as for designing applications and interventions. Yet, not all studies have consistently shown beneficial effects of cognitive training and some key questions for our understanding of plasticity are still unanswered. Furthermore, a number of theoretical and methodological limitations to some training approaches have been discussed recently.
This workshop will address these issues. It is designed for
an international, interdisciplinary group of researchers,
including invited experts and junior scientists. Our aim is
to integrate findings from different disciplines in order to
improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying
training-induced cognitive and neural plasticity. We will
design innovative methodological approaches, explore the
potential of cognitive training for the application outside
of the laboratory, and propose long-term best-practice
guidelines for research in the field of cognitive
- Guido Band (Leiden University, Leiden): Predictors of acquisition speed for surgical skills
- Yvonne Brehmer (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm): Neural mechanisms of lifespan age differences in episodic memory formation and plasticity
- Lorenza Colzato (Leiden University, Leiden): Genetic modulation of training and transfer in young adults: COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with the flexible mind
- Shawn Green (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis): Action video games and learning to learn
- Bernhard Hommel (Leiden University, Leiden): Fine-tuning cognitive-control parameters through neurofeedback and meditation
- Alexander Garthe & Gerd Kempermann (Center for Regenerative Therapies, Dresden): Adult neurogenesis as a neuronal investment loan
- Matthias Kliegel (University of Geneva): Prospective memory training in healthy aging: Possibilities and limits
- Torkel Klingberg (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm): Training of working memory
- Arthur Kramer (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): Take a Walk: Physical activity, cognition and the brain
- Martin Lövdén (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm): Spatial navigation training shapes adult brain development in interaction with the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene
- Florian Schmiedek (Center for Research on Education and Development, Frankfurt): Do concepts of latent factor transfer transfer to studies of transfer?
- Richard Ridderinkhof (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam): Brain training in progress
- Cora Titz (Center for Research on Education and Development, Frankfurt): Education affects older adults' focus switching performance, but not training gains
- Claudia von Bastian & Klaus Oberauer (University of Zurich, Zurich): Can working memory be improved? Evidence from training studies based on the facet model of working memory capacity
Aside from the oral presentations listed above, the workshop will include a poster session that is open for all participants. We kindly ask you to submit abstracts for poster presentations (max. 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org before August 15, 2012.