This project involves research into the role of working memory in student learning and academic success. Specifically, this project is designed to better understand how working memory deficits impede learning in the college classroom, and to develop effective working memory training programs that ameliorate these deficits. This project operates under the direction of Dr. Jason Reimer and includes collaboration with Dr. Aaron Seitz at the University of California, Riverside, and Dr. Eugene Wong at CSUSB. Research studies conducted as part of the project have been ongoing for the past five years, and have included over 30 CSUSB undergraduate and graduate students as research assistants. In general, each study in the project focuses on improving cognitive skills (e.g., working memory, executive function, and attention) that are predictive of academic performance utilizing iPad-based cognitive training programs that are designed by the UCR Brain Game Center under the direction of Dr. Aaron Seitz. More than dozen individual studies involving more than 600 CSUSB students as participants have been conducted as part of this project to examine various issues related to cognitive training, including:
- Mechanisms of effective targeted cognitive training and the structure of working memory
- An examination of how working memory training differs in outcome between individuals with high vs. low working memory capacity
- The effectiveness of targeted cognitive training to enhance individuals with low working memory capacity
- The effect of attentional control on working memory and intelligence
- The effectiveness of game-based cognitive training programs
- The effectiveness of BrainTrain software to enhance working memory performance in college students
As part of this research we have assessed the working memory capacity of more than 400 CSUSB students. This is important because it allows us to better understand the cognitive abilities of the CSUSB student population. It is our hope that such an understanding will contribute to the development of strategies that will improve classroom performance and overall academic success in our students. These studies, including those currently underway, represent the first phase of this project. The second stage will be to investigate which components of working memory are utilized during classroom instruction and learning, and the third phase will examine whether working memory-targeted cognitive training translates to actual improvement of classroom performance in a college context. If you are interested in participating in one of our studies for this project, please click on the 'Study Participant Information' button below.