Table_1_Let’s Play Cards: Multi-Component Cognitive Training With Social Engagement Enhances Executive Control in Older Adults.pdf

2018-12-06T04:25:11Z (GMT) by Chun-Yu Kuo Yang-Ming Huang Yei-Yu Yeh

Cognitive training and social engagement are two of the routes that potentially improve cognitive functions in older adults. The former targets specific functions so that an intervention can trigger the plasticity and efficiency of the underpinning neural systems, and the latter also provides an environment supportive of social and emotional needs. We investigated whether an integration of the two routes could enhance cognitive functions related to executive control, because no prior research has adopted a theory-driven approach to design a group-based cognitive training program for executive control. Forty-six healthy and active older adults living in community settings were randomly assigned to a group-based training program or a group-based active control program. Twenty-three volunteers in a community center were recruited for the waitlist control group. A battery of card games was designed for the cognitive training program based on three theoretical models of executive functions. A set of commercial board games were run in the active control program. Using untrained tests as the outcome measures, we found significant improvement on executive control in the cognitive training group compared with the active and waitlist control groups while the two control groups did not differ in performance. The cognitive training group did not outperform the two groups on a test of reasoning or on a test of delayed episodic memory. The results support the idea that cognitive training with social interaction can improve performance on untrained tests that share overlapping cognitive processes. Despite the inability to adapt to each person’s performance, integrating the two routes is beneficial for improving cognitive functions in older adults.