+1 Recommend
1 collections

      To submit your manuscript, please click here

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Working Memory Training for Children Using the Adaptive, Self-Select, and Stepwise Approaches to Setting the Difficulty Level of Training Activities: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          A common yet untested assumption of cognitive training in children is that activities should be adaptive, with difficulty adjusted to the individual’s performance in order to maximize improvements on untrained tasks (known as transfer). Working memory training provides the ideal testbed to systematically examine this assumption as it is one of the most widely studied domains in the cognitive training literature, and is critical for children’s learning, including following instructions and reasoning.


          This trial aimed to examine children’s outcomes of working memory training using adaptive, self-select (child selects difficulty level), and stepwise (difficulty level increases incrementally) approaches to setting the difficulty of training activities compared to an active control condition immediately and 6-month postintervention. While the aim is exploratory, we hypothesized that children allocated to a working memory training condition would show greater improvements: (1) on near transfer measures compared to intermediate and far transfer measures and (2) immediately postintervention compared to 6-month postintervention.


          This double-blinded, active-controlled, parallel-group randomized trial aimed to recruit 128 children aged 7 to 11 years from 1 metropolitan primary school in Melbourne, Australia. Following baseline testing, children were randomized into 1 of 4 conditions: adaptive, self-select, or stepwise working memory training, or active control. An experimental intervention embedded in Minecraft was developed for teachers to deliver in class over 2 consecutive weeks (10 × 20-minute sessions). The working memory training comprised 2 training activities with processing demands similar to daily activities: backward span and following instructions. The control comprised creative activities. Pre- and postintervention, children completed a set of working memory tests (near and intermediate transfer) and the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (far transfer) to determine training outcomes, as well as motivation questionnaires to determine if motivations toward learning and the intervention were similar across conditions. Caregivers completed the ADHD-Rating Scale-5 to measure their child’s attention (far transfer). Statistical analysis will include traditional null hypothesis significance testing and Bayesian methods to quantify evidence for both the null and alternative hypotheses.


          Data collection concluded in December 2022. Data are currently being processed and analyzed.


          This trial will determine whether the adaptive approach to setting the difficulty of training activities maximizes cognitive training outcomes for children. This trial has several strengths: it adopts best practices for cognitive training studies (design, methods, and analysis plan); uses a range of measures to detect discrete levels of transfer; has a 6-month postintervention assessment; is appropriately powered; and uses an experimental working memory training intervention based on our current understanding of the cognitive mechanisms of training. Findings will inform future research and design of cognitive training interventions and highlight the value of the evidence-based principles of cognitive training.

          Trial Registration

          Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12621000990820; https://www.anzctr.org.au/ACTRN12621000990820.aspx

          International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID)


          Related collections

          Most cited references51

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Research electronic data capture (REDCap)--a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.

          Research electronic data capture (REDCap) is a novel workflow methodology and software solution designed for rapid development and deployment of electronic data capture tools to support clinical and translational research. We present: (1) a brief description of the REDCap metadata-driven software toolset; (2) detail concerning the capture and use of study-related metadata from scientific research teams; (3) measures of impact for REDCap; (4) details concerning a consortium network of domestic and international institutions collaborating on the project; and (5) strengths and limitations of the REDCap system. REDCap is currently supporting 286 translational research projects in a growing collaborative network including 27 active partner institutions.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences

            G*Power (Erdfelder, Faul, & Buchner, 1996) was designed as a general stand-alone power analysis program for statistical tests commonly used in social and behavioral research. G*Power 3 is a major extension of, and improvement over, the previous versions. It runs on widely used computer platforms (i.e., Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4) and covers many different statistical tests of the t, F, and chi2 test families. In addition, it includes power analyses for z tests and some exact tests. G*Power 3 provides improved effect size calculators and graphic options, supports both distribution-based and design-based input modes, and offers all types of power analyses in which users might be interested. Like its predecessors, G*Power 3 is free.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3.1: tests for correlation and regression analyses.

              G*Power is a free power analysis program for a variety of statistical tests. We present extensions and improvements of the version introduced by Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, and Buchner (2007) in the domain of correlation and regression analyses. In the new version, we have added procedures to analyze the power of tests based on (1) single-sample tetrachoric correlations, (2) comparisons of dependent correlations, (3) bivariate linear regression, (4) multiple linear regression based on the random predictor model, (5) logistic regression, and (6) Poisson regression. We describe these new features and provide a brief introduction to their scope and handling.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                19 September 2023
                : 12
                : e47496
                [1 ] School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health Monash University Clayton Australia
                [2 ] Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) Clinical Sciences Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne Australia
                [3 ] Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne Australia
                [4 ] Virtual and Augmented Reality Services (VARS) eSolutions Monash University Clayton Australia
                [5 ] MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit University of Cambridge Cambridge United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Megan Spencer-Smith megan.spencer-smith@ 123456monash.edu
                Author information
                ©Regine Cassandra Lau, Peter John Anderson, Joshua F Wiley, Derek Huang, Faisha Surjatin, Paul McIntosh, Susan Gathercole, Megan Spencer-Smith. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 19.09.2023.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 24 March 2023
                : 2 June 2023
                : 15 June 2023
                : 5 July 2023

                children,working memory,memory training,adaptive training,cognitive training,transfer effects,training effects,cognitive outcomes,randomized controlled trial


                Comment on this article