Overview

Science Summary

Optimal thinking relies on Working Memory capacity, which allows you to hold relevant information ‘online’ for later use or retrieval (1). It is important for flexible thinking, sustaining attention on relevant information and avoiding distractions from irrelevant information.

Typically we can hold 7 ( + or – 2) pieces of information online at a time. We use this capacity for very practical things such as repeating and remembering telephone numbers.

Working memory capacity are supported by feedback from cortical brain systems, with a key role for the frontal and parietal regions of the brain [2]. Working memory capacity can be improved with brain training, and the benefits translate into real life (3,4).

1. Lezak, MD (1995(. Neuropsychological Assessment. 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

2. Keage HAD, Clark, C.R.., Hermens DF, Clark S, Kohn M, Williams L, Crewther D, Lamb C, & Gordon E (2008), “ Putative biomarker of working memory systems development over childhood and adolescence” NeuroReport 19(2):197-201

3. Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J & Perrig WJ (2008). Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (19); 6829-6833.

4. Willis SL, Tennstedt SL, Marsiske M et al (2006). Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association, 296 (23); 2805-2814

Thinking Skills
Sustained Attention

Flexibility

Controlled Attention

Inhibition

Executive Function

Processing Speed

Recall Memory

Working Memory

Motor Coordination

Emotion Skills
Identifying Emotions

Emotion Bias