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Dissociable effects of attention vs working memory training on cognitive performance and everyday functioning following fronto-parietal strokes.

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Astle, Duncan E 
Duncan, John 
Murphy, Fionnuala C 
Hampshire, Adam 


Difficulties with attention are common following stroke, particularly in patients with frontal and parietal damage, and are associated with poor outcome. Home-based online cognitive training may have the potential to provide an efficient and effective way to improve attentional functions in such patients. Little work has been carried out to assess the efficacy of this approach in stroke patients, and the lack of studies with active control conditions and rigorous evaluations of cognitive functioning pre and post-training means understanding is limited as to whether and how such interventions may be effective. Here, in a feasibility pilot study, we compare the effects of 20 days of cognitive training using either novel Selective Attention Training (SAT) or commercial Working Memory Training (WMT) programme, versus a waitlist control on a range of attentional and working memory tasks. We demonstrate separable effects of each training condition, with SAT leading to improvements in spatial and non-spatial aspects of attention and WMT leading to improvements on closely related working memory tasks. In addition, both training groups reported improvements in everyday functioning, which were associated with improvements in attention, suggesting that improving attention may be of particular importance in maximising functional improvements in this patient group.



Attention, Cognitive training, Stroke, Working memory, Activities of Daily Living, Adult, Aged, Attention, Cognitive Dysfunction, Cognitive Remediation, Feasibility Studies, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment, Health Care, Parietal Lobe, Pilot Projects, Stroke, Stroke Rehabilitation

Journal Title

Neuropsychol Rehabil

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Informa UK Limited
MRC (unknown)
Medical Research Council (MC_U105559837)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/2)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/6)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/10)