[<< wikibooks] Cognitive Science: An Introduction/Cognitive Training in Adults
== Cognitive Training in Adults ==
Methods for improving the cognitive abilities of adults by way of training is growing increasingly researched. Until recently, humans were thought to be at their cognitive peak in young adulthood, allowing little room for improvement. New findings have indicated that significant cognitive gains are possible long into adulthood through training.Cognitive training has been aided by research within the fields of neurogenesis. Cognitive training generally involves the practice of a single cognitive task or set of cognitive tasks. What differentiates this form of training from typical practice is that cognitive training is designed to bring about improvements in different transferable tasks. Cognitive transfer is the ability to apply knowledge, skills, and practices across various situations and contexts. The cognitive form of training leads to improvements in the ability or abilities targeted. Such improvements have also been correlated with functional and structural changes in the brain, for example, connectivity in the frontoparietal network. What remains a matter of discussion, however, is the potential for such a course of action to evoke substantial improvements outside of the trained abilities. Early findings of transfer  have failed to replicate in several other studies resulting in some degree of skepticism over the validity of the rationale. In this context, more recent studies have emphasized the need to understand the underlying mechanisms of such inconsistencies to offer better, more powerful interventions.


=== Embodied perspective ===
An embodied perspective can assist in understanding cognitive training in adults. Embodied cognition may be described as a perspective on cognition that is deeply rooted within the features of the physical body. Research in embodied cognition explores how aspects of the human body other than the brain may play a significant role in cognitive processing. This view expands upon the traditional perspective in cognitive science, that human cognition is an internally bounded system.
Research in embodied cognition may study the interrelation between motor processes, spatial abilities, working memory, language, problem-solving, and reasoning. Supporting evidence derives from studies of motor expertise, in which expert agents have been found to perform above average in assessments of perception, working memory capacity, attention, long-term memory, and decision making.Various approaches have been documented, including simple physical exercise, purely cognitive training, and various hybrid forms of training. Various studies of cognitive training affirm that complex forms of physical exercise outperform more impoverished exercise workouts. For example, wrestling involves complex, unusual motor coordination and appears to elicit greater improvements in measures of spatial ability and working memory capacity compared to running, a largely automatized activity. Evidence also suggests that dance can be particularly well-adapted to cognitive training designs. Further, juggling has shown to induce gains in mental imagery rotation performance, as does practicing musical instruments that involve complex motor coordination.


== References ==