Cognitive Change clinical trials at University of California Health
3 in progress, 1 open to eligible people
open to eligible people ages 50-85
The present study investigates how individual differences in cognitive processing contribute to the efficacy of working memory training programs in an older adult population. In a randomized crossover design, different types of working memory training interventions will be evaluated within the same participants. Adding game-like elements to working memory training programs can increase motivation and engagement, which can increase learning. However this process, termed gamification, adds sensory complexity that can lead to increased mental load and/or distraction in older adults. Investigators hypothesize that gamification of training tasks will be beneficial to some and counterproductive to other participants. The investigators will test two models; the first assumes that participants with difficulty inhibiting distracting information will show better learning and transfer when assigned to non-gamified training, whereas those with more distractor tolerance will show better learning and transfer when assigned to gamified training. The second model states that the outcomes of the intervention will be better predicted by performance on measures of general cognitive ability. In a separate study, the investigators will compare working memory training that contains rich, multisensory information with a training program that contains only visual information. Here they will also test two models; the first assumes that participants with difficulty binding two stimulus streams will show better learning and transfer when assigned to visual-only working memory training, whereas participants who do not have this difficulty will show better learning and transfer when assigned to multisensory working memory training. The second model states that the outcomes of the intervention will be better predicted by performance on measures of general cognitive ability.
at UC Irvine
Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients
The goal of this study is to test the feasibility of launching a personalized digital health assessment and remediation program for the older adults in senior living communities based upon an initial characterization of these abilities. Evidence of feasibility here using these unique methodological approaches would provide empirical evidence supporting the basis for a larger-scale implementation of such digital health technologies into less controlled senior settings.
Sorry, accepting new patients by invitation only
The present study addresses whether placebo effects can possibly account for previous findings in the field, as well as ascertains whether placebo-based mechanisms can be deliberately harnessed for impact. The design is a 2 (positive expectations/negative expectations) x 2 (true cognitive training intervention x control cognitive training intervention) Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Participants will be recruited from site-affiliated participant pools or email lists. Participants will first undergo a pre-test battery where various cognitive abilities are assessed via computerized programs. They will also fill out various surveys about personality traits/internal dispositions that may predict the extent to which they are susceptible to placebo effects. After pre-testing, participants will be randomized to an expectations group (positive/negative) and a training protocol (active/control). Participants are then given their group appropriate expectation script. In the positive expectations group, participants receive training described as having previous research supporting its use as a method to enhance cognitive abilities. In the negative expectations group, participants receive training described as having previous research suggesting that it is unlikely to change cognitive abilities or may even decrease cognitive abilities. The participants will then be given instructions regarding how to do their training task. Participants will be asked to complete 10 sessions of training within 15 days. The active training will be a standard working memory (N-back) training task. The control training will be a trivia/quiz training task. After they have completed 10 sessions, participants will complete a "mid-test" session to undergo a battery of perceptual/cognitive tasks. Participants will be told that the perceptual/cognitive tests are identical to those that they took at pre-test. However, in reality, for participants in the "positive expectations" groups, these will be altered to actually be easier than they were at pre-test. For participants in the "negative expectations" groups the tasks will be made more difficult. Participants will then be asked to complete another set of 10 training sessions on their devices within 15 days before completing the post-test. The post-test will be identical to the pre-test. All participants will then be extensively debriefed (e.g., all deceptions will be made clear). On a separate day, participants will then complete a second post-test that is identical to the pre-test and first-post test.
at UC Irvine
Our lead scientists for Cognitive Change research studies include Joaquin Anguera, Ph.D..