"Putting brain training to the test" - Nature paper

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Jonathan Toomim

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Apr 21, 2010, 4:01:13 AM4/21/10
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http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/pdf/nature09042.pdf

Abstract:
> ‘Brain training’, or the goal of improved cognitive function through
> the regular use of computerized tests, is a multimillion-pound
> industry, yet in our view scientific evidence to support its
> efficacy is lacking. Modest effects have been reported in some
> studies of older individuals and preschool children, and video-game
> players outperform non-players on some tests of visual attention5.
> However, the widely held belief that commercially available
> computerized brain-training programs improve general cognitive
> function in the wider population in our opinion lacks empirical
> support. The central question is not whether performance on
> cognitive tests can be improved by training, but rather, whether
> those benefits transfer to other untrained tasks or lead to any
> general improvement in the level of cognitive functioning. Here we
> report the results of a six-week online study in which 11,430
> participants trained several times each week on cognitive tasks
> designed to improve reasoning, memory, planning, visuospatial skills
> and attention. Although improvements were observed in every one of
> the cognitive tasks that were trained, no evidence was found for
> transfer effects to untrained tasks, even when those tasks were
> cognitively closely related.

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Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 7:01:17 AM4/21/10
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This is nothing new, but does not state in any way that the brain is immune to improvement,nor does it discuss dual-n-back or other similar studies. It also fails to explain the flynn effect.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 7:54:38 AM4/21/10
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Actually, this is more important then some will likely give credit
for. Since the newest evidence shows that single n-back improves
intelligence just as well as dual, then we can imagine that training
in any WM task will cause results in intelligence

. This study shows the opposite. The game used in the study likely
functions similar to n-back, since the WM games escalate in difficulty
as the user improves. Yet, no improvement.
> For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 7:59:18 AM4/21/10
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And in fact,this is more compelling evidence that, while one can
improve in a small number of cognitive domains given training, one
won't see an improvement everywhere. It is very likely that Jaeggi's
measure for "general fluid intelligence" was in fact very training-
specific.
> > For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.-Hide quoted text -

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 7:59:04 AM4/21/10
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WM-tasks although labeled as "equal"  are in fact not from a neuroactivity point of view. N-back is something that stresses the central executive while just "remembering stuff" does not.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:00:09 AM4/21/10
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How can IQ-tests then measure something that should be common to all mental acitivty? Then IQ-tests by themselves are specific if there's not overlap.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:12:32 AM4/21/10
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I think you use the word WM-task a bit sloppy. All "WM-tasks" are not equal from a executive function point of view. N-back activates roughly 3 times more areas than just "maintaining information". The reason dual-n-back increases IQ is because Working memory and attentional control is a big part of IQ-tests, this is widely accepted and almost certainly the reason behind the flynn effect. In fact only 0.25 of the variation is explained by "procedual knowledge" or what some of the dnb critics want to call intelligence. This is true, but still IQ-tests demands more than this.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM, jttoto <jtde...@uncc.edu> wrote:

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:15:25 AM4/21/10
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Let's keep it in focus. In the end, Jaeggi used a very specific
measure of visuospatial reasoning. Yes, it has a strong correlation
with other functions, but we still are not 100% sure why these
correlations exist. Now lets look at this evidence this study has in
comparison to Jaeggi.

The sample size was large, much larger then Jaeggi's.

The study used games that train and improve WM.

The study measured a broad range of cognitive functions, like one
would measure in g. Therefore, it is more comprehensive then Jaeggi's
study.

No result.
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Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:16:56 AM4/21/10
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You can not put all WM-tasks into one I am afraid.

1. Working memory was often measured using a small, unsystematic set of tasks. The
resulting representation of the construct is therefore contaminated by task-specific
variance and does not necessarily reflect all relevant aspects of working memory.
2. In most studies on individual differences, working-memory capacity was operationalized
as an undifferentiated construct. This contrasts sharply with numerous experimental findings
that suggest a multicomponential view of working memory (e.g., Baddeley, 1986).
Different components of working memory, i.e., distinguishable cognitive resources, could
be expected to contribute to different extents to different intellectual abilities.
3. Similarly, studies relating working memory to intelligence constructs usually focused on
a single mental ability, such as reasoning or reading ability, as the criterion. This does
not provide a clear picture of how working memory relates to the structure of
intelligence, in other words, which abilities depend to what degree on working memory.
4. The tasks used to measure working memory were very similar to and sometimes
indistinguishable from common reasoning tasks. This problem is apparent, e.g., in the
work of Kyllonen and Christal (1990), where the same type of task served as a workingmemory
task in one study and as a reasoning task in another. If tasks used to measure
working-memory capacity have many common features with those used to measure
reasoning, it is not clear which features are responsible for the high correlation obtained
between them.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:20:18 AM4/21/10
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The present study yielded three main results. (1) Working-memory capacity is highly
related to intelligence. The strongest relationship found was to reasoning ability, thereby
replicating results found by Kyllonen (1994a) and Kyllonen and Christal (1990). The
working-memory tasks in our test pool were selected so that overlap in cognitive
processes and strategies with the reasoning tasks was minimal.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:21:22 AM4/21/10
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Present the evidence then. As far as my knowledge, there is no direct
study comparing the results of a standard WM training compared to n-
back or dual- n-back. A direct comparison must be made to draw such
conclusions, within the same parameters.
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> > .
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> > > - Show quoted text -
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Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:20:45 AM4/21/10
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I rest my case........

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:29:47 AM4/21/10
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How does this wall of text disprove anything I said. It only
theorizes that WM may be multicomponental and is more complex than we
believe. #3 in facts supports what I've been saying. It says nothing
on comparing training exercises to each other. So again, show me a
study directly comparing n-back to other WM training games, where one
is the active control.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:36:53 AM4/21/10
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Well you said "The study used games that train and improve WM." While WM-tasks are as you point out complex and as stated in the article it is not necessarily those that are important to intelligence that are examined/trained. N-back however is one of those WMC processes that is.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:36:09 AM4/21/10
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Ahh, I see, the two quotes are part of the same study. My mistake.

Still, that doesn't explain why a task that trains WM did not transfer
to most of the cognitive domains. We are talking about WM-training,
not what WM is. I am confused as to what you trying to prove with
that quote.
> > For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.-Hide quoted text -

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:37:55 AM4/21/10
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All WM-training is not equal. You cannot arbitrary call things WM.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:45:27 AM4/21/10
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Yes, but how does the game in the nature study break the standard
definition of WM? Is it comparable to say, the CogMed used on ADHD?
This is something I with the authors were more specific about, but it
seems reasonable, given the huge number of participants and obvious
knowledge of cognition, that they properly researched WM and chose a
game that would measure and improve it.
> ...
>
> read more »- Hide quoted text -

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:48:11 AM4/21/10
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No it just shows that those WM-tasks did not lead to any improvements.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:53:48 AM4/21/10
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Because they do not tax the brain in the same way dnb does, and are not important underlying functions for solving Gf-problems.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:56:45 AM4/21/10
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The researchers specifically said that the games used were standard
measures of WM, modified to get more difficult as the user improves.

Then please, explain how the game used is so different to n-back. It
requires the standard memorizing and updating information, does it
not?

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:59:43 AM4/21/10
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In other words, the games are simply standard measures of WM used
extensively in scientific literature. Are standard measures of WM not
taxing enough on the brain?

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:02:54 AM4/21/10
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Once again WM is not a SINGLE thing. They used tasks that required something we might label as WM but not something that is equal to dnb from a neurological point of view, if it were they would have gotten the same results naturally.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:04:50 AM4/21/10
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Remembering information uses only 1/3 of the brain areas compared to dnb. The brain activity and oxygen supply to the brain is proportional to n-level.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:10:43 AM4/21/10
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At one time, n-back was just another measure of WM like these games
were. And again, the games were based of scientifically recognized
measures of WM used extensively in scientific journals. Are you
telling me that you have indisputable proof that training in n-back
goes above and beyond other measures of WM. You don't, because no
study exists directly comparing two training methods.

"if it were they would have gotten the same
results naturally. "

Under the assumption that the Jaeggi study is irrefutable proof that
WM can be improved. You must be able to replicate results
consistently before you can say something has strong empirical
support. In fact, wasn't there a study that didn't replicate Jaeggi's
findings using the exact method? Not very encouraging.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:20:09 AM4/21/10
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I do not know which tasks that were used. Just because they are standard WM-tasks does not imply that they are the ones that indeed Gf-tests require. Since 0.6-0.8 of thev variation is explained by variation in WMC.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:32:16 AM4/21/10
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I have to leave to work soon but I'm going to end with this. When
presenting with conflicting evidence one must sit back and objectively
look at the results with scrutiny. Quite frankly you are being very
close-minded about the null results. I personally believe that
intelligence can be improved, but one must look at the zero effects
closely to properly reduce what is behind the improvements. One must
also face the fact that maybe improvements could be partially due to
researcher bias. So again, since you never properly rebutted it:

- Dual n-back, and n-back in general, does not have strong empirical
support. Even some studies using the same experimental methods as
Jaeggi have not replicated the same results. The fact that
participants are young is void, since in theory children can improve
as well based on other studies.

- You still present no hard evidence that one method of training is
superior to another. Saying that one is inferior because it doesn't
produce results is a weak argument. One must directly compare within
the same study.



-

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 9:46:09 AM4/21/10
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Besides they trained 6 tasks during 10 minutes three days a week. Meaning they spent in total 1.6 min on each task a day. No wonder they didnt improve. The WMC training were in total 5 minutes a week and 15 minutes for the whole period corrsponding to not even ONE training session with dnb. No wonder they didnt see any results....

Pontus Granström

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Apr 21, 2010, 10:41:29 AM4/21/10
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I am sorry one group spent 2.5 minutes on short term memory tasks. I guess this study is joke.

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:06:01 PM4/21/10
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The study addressed that issue. Some spent more time. There was no
correlation with time spent and improvement. And again, you did not
address the points I brought up. Do I need to copy and paste?

On Apr 21, 10:41 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am sorry one group spent 2.5 minutes on short term memory tasks. I guess
> this study is joke.
>
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>
>
> > Besides they trained 6 tasks during 10 minutes three days a week. Meaning
> > they spent in total 1.6 min on each task a day. No wonder they didnt
> > improve. The WMC training were in total 5 minutes a week and 15 minutes for
> > the whole period corrsponding to not even ONE training session with dnb. No
> > wonder they didnt see any results....
>

jttoto

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Apr 21, 2010, 8:12:36 PM4/21/10
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Let me make this clear:

There is no hard evidence that dual n-back, a training method whose
results have not been consistently replicated, is a superior training
method to the games described in this study. There is only
speculation.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 3:13:16 AM4/22/10
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Well show me a evidence that a group spent 200 minutes on a Short Term Memory task. That all STM tasks are equal is a thing that is only speculation. N-back has a very special place due to it's load on the executive functions. The study is not equal to the Jaeggi study in that sense. N-back activates areas linked to IQ as seen by fmri scans, it increases oxygen to the brain (known to increase IQ), N-back requires extensive use of the updating executive function which has a 0.6 correlate with IQ and all other measures of intelligence. I would like to know what STM task that were used before that we can't say anything.

1. First no evidence that anyone spent 200 minutes on a STM-task.
2. The STM-task is probably inferior to dnb. (not just speculation)

polar

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Apr 22, 2010, 3:53:26 AM4/22/10
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interesting study, I dont have time to go through it thouroughly now,
but I will. I just get the feeling they did not use n-back. And if
they didnt, that can a huge difference. Not because I'm a fan of it
(I'm even more fan of "truth"), but because n-back is subjectively
waaaaaaay more demanding that anything else in cognitive area. IMHO
you cant compare backward digit span training with n-back. And,
anything that transfers to raven (Kligberg, Jaeggi 2008, 2010) is
pretty much FAR transfer.

On 21. Apr, 10:01 h., Jonathan Toomim <jtoo...@jtoomim.org> wrote:
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/pdf/nature09042.pdf
>
> Abstract:
>
>
>
>
>
> > ‘Brain training’, or the goal of improved cognitive function through  
> > the regular use of computerized tests, is a multimillion-pound  
> > industry, yet in our view scientific evidence to support its  
> > efficacy is lacking. Modest effects have been reported in some  
> > studies of older individuals and preschool children, and video-game  
> > players outperform non-players on some tests of visual attention5.  
> > However, the widely held belief that commercially available  
> > computerized brain-training programs improve general cognitive  
> > function in the wider population in our opinion lacks empirical  
> > support. The central question is not whether performance on  
> > cognitive tests can be improved by training, but rather, whether  
> > those benefits transfer to other untrained tasks or lead to any  
> > general improvement in the level of cognitive functioning. Here we  
> > report the results of a six-week online study in which 11,430  
> > participants trained several times each week on cognitive tasks  
> > designed to improve reasoning, memory, planning, visuospatial skills  
> > and attention. Although improvements were observed in every one of  
> > the cognitive tasks that were trained, no evidence was found for  
> > transfer effects to untrained tasks, even when those tasks were  
> > cognitively closely related.
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence" group.
> To post to this group, send email to brain-t...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to brain-trainin...@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.

Michael Campbell

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Apr 22, 2010, 6:57:06 AM4/22/10
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Pontus Granström wrote:
> 2. The STM-task is probably inferior to dnb. (not just speculation)

"probably" is pretty close to speculation.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 7:24:59 AM4/22/10
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Well true, but I do not think it's a coincident that they use n-back for so much neurological research when studying brain activity and so on.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:01:56 AM4/22/10
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Well I have found definite proof now, take a look in the files section "A comparison of laboratory and clinical working memory tests and their prediction of fluid intelligence". This proofs that n-back is superior to other WM-tasks when it comes to Gf. I rest my case.

Consistent
with previous research (Friedman et al., 2006; Gray et al.,
2003), n-back performance was also significantly correlated
to measures of fluid intelligence (rs range from .37–.40), and
tended to correlate more strongly across the gF measures
relative to the other WM tests used in the study. Overall, the
recall version of the n-back task used in the present study
proved to be a valid measure of WM function.

jttoto

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:22:04 AM4/22/10
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- Strawman. Doesn't prove or disprove anything and doesn't directly
counter my argument. The STM games were used in neurological research
as well. Even n-back is used more extensively (which you don't cite),
it doesn't matter. The idea that n-back is a superior method is not
conclusive because it can't be replicated consistently, not conclusive
because there is no direct comparison with other games within similar
parameters, thus still just speculation.

:::"Well show me a evidence that a group spent 200 minutes on a Short
Term
Memory task."

Not relevant. That is the thing, we don't know. I'm not saying that
n-back does nothing, I'm saying we don't have enough evidence due to
conflicting results. In this case, it is up to you to provide hard
evidence, because a lack thereof only proves my point.

And the study shows that there is no correlation with time spent.
Don't you think that is significant at all?!

:::"That all STM tasks are equal is a thing that is only
speculation. "

Exactly! You are just proving my point; we don't know either way. So
why construct canned theories around a lack of evidence?

:::"N-back has a very special place due to it's load on the
executive functions."

Tall order since some studies show n-back does nothing.

::: "N-back activates areas linked to IQ as seen by fmri scans, it
increases oxygen to the brain (known to increase IQ), "

Changes in the brain don't automatically mean increases in IQ. One,
there aren't enough studies to show that it can be replicated on a
wider scales. Two, changes in the brain don't automatically correlate
to higher IQ. Do taxi drivers, jugglers, and meditators have higher
IQ as well? (there have been many studies showing transcendental
meditation doesn't increase IQ. Many times only personally funded
research shows a positive effect)

I'm done here. You epitomize using personal biases over scientific
evidence. When a method such as n-back can't be replicated, it is up
to us to look at the reasons why, and not make excuses for it. It is
up to us to be skeptical of its efficacy and not become a zealot. It
is becoming increasingly clear that there is no reasoning with you, so
I'm ending it here before I waste more time.

On Apr 22, 7:24 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Well true, but I do not think it's a coincident that they use n-back for so
> much neurological research when studying brain activity and so on.
>
> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Michael Campbell <
>
>
>
>
>
> michael.campb...@unixgeek.com> wrote:
> > Pontus Granström wrote:
>
> >> 2. The STM-task is probably inferior to dnb. (not just speculation)
>
> > "probably" is pretty close to speculation.
>
> > --
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> > .
> > For more options, visit this group at
> >http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.
>
> --
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> For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:27:15 AM4/22/10
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I guess you haven't read my last post which provides real evidence of earlier claims.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:30:40 AM4/22/10
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I have as you know by now uploaded evidence that n-back is indeed a superior task when it comes to Gf correlation, so who's the who "epitomize using personal biases over scientific
evidence
."

jttoto

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:34:21 AM4/22/10
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I'm only posting this because you brought this study up beforehand
which I forgot to address. But after this I am not posting any
more.

The study looked at operation span, listening span, and n-back. Not
every WM measure ever made. The first two are barely considered
standard measures of WM,so of course n-back is superior. And again we
are talking about training, not measuing! It is clear that you spent
about as much time reading this study as you did my posts.


On Apr 22, 8:01 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Well I have found definite proof now, take a look in the files section "A
> comparison of laboratory and clinical working memory tests and their
> prediction of fluid intelligence". This proofs that n-back is superior to
> other WM-tasks when it comes to Gf. I rest my case.
>
> *Consistent
> with previous research (Friedman et al., 2006; Gray et al.,
> 2003), n-back performance was also significantly correlated
> to measures of fluid intelligence (rs range from .37–.40), and
> tended to correlate more strongly across the gF measures
> relative to the other WM tests used in the study. Overall, the
> recall version of the n-back task used in the present study
> proved to be a valid measure of WM function.*
>
> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > Well true, but I do not think it's a coincident that they use n-back for so
> > much neurological research when studying brain activity and so on.
>
> > On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Michael Campbell <
> > michael.campb...@unixgeek.com> wrote:
>
> >> Pontus Granström wrote:
>
> >>> 2. The STM-task is probably inferior to dnb. (not just speculation)
>
> >> "probably" is pretty close to speculation.
>
> >> --
> >> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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> >> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
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> >> .
> >> For more options, visit this group at
> >>http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.
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Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:35:45 AM4/22/10
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It proves that not all WM-tasks are equal, and you have no idea which WM-task that were used so why are you so sure that you are right? There's not just any data that support your claim.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:42:53 AM4/22/10
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The other WM-tasks were from the WAIS test in this study. You claimed that increasing the difficulty on any WM-task is equal to dnb, then you accused me of not being scientific, when it's clearly you who are not. You even said that they also required updating etc, you just ASSUMED that all WM-tasks are equal and that spending 25% of the time on such a task compared to lowest significant result by jaeggi is a proof that training doesn't work. Why do you still claim this, when you are so overwhelmingly proved wrong?

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:46:25 AM4/22/10
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Clinical measures
1. Arithmetic 13.97 3.05 .75
2. Spatial span 17.75 2.99 .22 ⁎⁎ .74
3. Digit span 19.55 3.76 .31 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .81
4. Letter number 12.56 2.67 .45 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .60 ⁎⁎ .74
Lab measures
5. Ospan score 44.15 15.54 .23 ⁎⁎ .35 ⁎⁎ .54 ⁎⁎ .41 ⁎⁎ .73
6. Lspan score 29.06 10.93 .34 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .45 ⁎⁎ .55 ⁎⁎ .74
7. Lag score 54.23 16.36 .41 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .48 ⁎⁎ .44 ⁎⁎ .38 ⁎⁎ .45 ⁎⁎ .79
gF measures
8. RAPM 25.50 4.04 .34 ⁎⁎ .25 ⁎⁎ .16 ⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .30 ⁎⁎ .40 ⁎⁎ .75
9. Block design 45.79 10.94 .41 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .27 ⁎⁎ .37 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .32 ⁎⁎ .38 ⁎⁎ .41 ⁎⁎ .75
10. Matrix Reasoning 20.17 2.51 .19 ⁎ .30 ⁎⁎ .18 ⁎ .21 ⁎⁎ .12 .23 ⁎⁎ .36 ⁎⁎ .37 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .65

So 7 different tests.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 8:50:45 AM4/22/10
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Furthermore, the best prediction of individual differences in
fluid intelligence was accomplished using a hybrid model that
depicted a latent construct comprising scores from the LNS and
laboratory WM tests. Taken together, these findings suggested
that while the laboratory and psychometric indices of WM may
be measuring similar cognitive processes, there were subtle
differences that should be considered, including their predictive
utility.


Something I have been claiming all the time.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 22, 2010, 9:08:04 AM4/22/10
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These findings provided
support for their claimthat individual differences inWMwill be
good predictors of fluid abilities to the extent that the individual
memory tests emphasize a controlled search of SM.

The n-back task also emphasizes the
need for a controlled search process by forcing participants to
retrieve an item that fell in a specific position in the list. The
Dspan and Sspan tasks, on the other hand, involve the simple
storage of information without an additional processing
demand.

This does not imply that performance on these tasks
is void of attention, but the extent towhich controlled attention
is emphasized in the taskmay be different. Performance on the
longer list lengths of these testswould presumably yield better
predictive power, but theway inwhich the data fromtheWAISIII
and WMS-III were collected (absolute accuracy scores for
each list rather than item-level accuracy) does not allow for a
direct examination of this possibility.
The problems associated with the Arithmetic subtest could
also reflect the fact that performance is less reliant on general
attention factors and more reliant on a specific skill set.

Although the present data cannot fully speak to the nature of
the predictive relationship between WM and higher-order
cognitive function, it still offers insight into the specific WM
tests that hold the most predictive power. This is particularly
important for clinical evaluationwhere performance on cognitive
tests could be used to predict howa patient will function in other
areas. It is clear that certain memory tests are more sensitive to
variation in other cognitive abilities, and simple evaluation of the
correlational relationship between these testswill not necessarily
speak to these subtle, but important, differences.

Letter/Number-sequencing subtest of theWAIS-III andWMS-III
represent the purest battery of tests for the WM construct.
Furthermore, these four tests offer the best predictive capability
of higher-order cognitive abilities in this college-student
sample. When making the decision to use a particular set of
memory tests one should consider several factors, including
howwell these tests predict performance in other areas and the
other skills or cognitive processes that are being represented in
the tasks.


N-back is superior predictor of Gf and there are subtle differences between what we call "WM-tasks". This study proves or disproves nothing, and the training time is so small that even with a good training regime there wouldn't be any results.

Case closed.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 23, 2010, 6:50:33 AM4/23/10
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 The first two are barely considered
standard measures of WM,so of course n-back is superior.


Furthermore, these tasks (Ospan and reading span) have
been repeatedly shown to be reliable measures of WM that
demonstrate excellent construct and criterion-related validity
(for a list of the many higher order cognitive tasks that
correlate with WM, see Conway et al., 2005, p.777).

Barely a valid measure of WM?

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 7:53:19 AM4/23/10
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Still arguing with yourself? Pontus. I came to that conclusion from
your own cited study. If n-back correlates with Gf at .4 (which is a
weak-to-moderate correlation at best), and n-back is better than the
other two measures, then your own citation clearly states that the
other measures are weak correlations. I'm sorry, but I clearly don't
have the free time as you do to cherry-pick every study that supports
my claim.

I could pick apart the egregious logical fallacies in your last post,
but I already said I won't discuss this furthur. If you can actually
find a proper study which counters my arguments, then I will
continue. Lets look at what you have yet to disprove:

--I said source a study comparing WM training methods. There clear
difference between comparing training methods and measures. My little
sister can figure this out. Let me spell it out. Just because
something is a more accurate measure, doesn't mean praciticing it will
improve what it measures. This is logic 101. Lets put this in
perspective. RPM is an accurate measure of Gf. If I practice the
test, I get better at RPM. Does this mean my Gf improves as well?
No. I just get more efficient at the test, albeit an accurate one.
Read the entire paragraph, I've been repeating this for 3 posts

-- Phantom arguments. It seems to can't argue with me directly, so
you create arguments I allegedly said for your rebuttal. For the last
time, and read it this time, I never said that every WM training is
equal. I said that we should compare two training methods within the
same study. Find one, otherwise you have no argument.

-- I never said WM can't be improved. My only main argument is that
there is conflicting evidence on whether n-back can indeed improve
intelligence at its core. Jaeggi cited other studies showing null
results in her own paper. Other people have posted null effects on n-
back. And yet, you still say I have no data? It is already sourced
on this forum. Well, I guess I have no data when you make up
arguments for me. Your barrage of experimental studies and
correlations doesn't change that.



On Apr 23, 6:50 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> * The first two are barely considered
> standard measures of WM,so of course n-back is superior.*
>
> Furthermore, these tasks (Ospan and reading span) have
> been repeatedly shown to be reliable measures of WM that
> demonstrate excellent construct and criterion-related validity
> (for a list of the many higher order cognitive tasks that
> correlate with WM, see Conway et al., 2005, p.777).
>
> Barely a valid measure of WM?
>
> > *
> > Case closed.*
>
> > On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >> *Furthermore, the best prediction of individual differences in
> >> fluid intelligence was accomplished using a hybrid model that
> >> depicted a latent construct comprising scores from the LNS and
> >> laboratory WM tests. Taken together, these findings suggested
> >> that while the laboratory and psychometric indices of WM may
> >> be measuring similar cognitive processes, there were subtle
> >> differences that should be considered, including their predictive
> >> utility.*
>
> >> Something I have been claiming all the time.
>
> >> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >>> Clinical measures
> >>> 1. Arithmetic 13.97 3.05 .75
> >>> 2. Spatial span 17.75 2.99 .22 ⁎⁎ .74
> >>> 3. Digit span 19.55 3.76 .31 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .81
> >>> 4. Letter number 12.56 2.67 .45 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .60 ⁎⁎ .74
> >>> Lab measures
> >>> 5. Ospan score 44.15 15.54 .23 ⁎⁎ .35 ⁎⁎ .54 ⁎⁎ .41 ⁎⁎ .73
> >>> 6. Lspan score 29.06 10.93 .34 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .45 ⁎⁎ .55 ⁎⁎ .74
> >>> 7. Lag score 54.23 16.36 .41 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .48 ⁎⁎ .44 ⁎⁎ .38 ⁎⁎ .45 ⁎⁎ .79
> >>> gF measures
> >>> 8. RAPM 25.50 4.04 .34 ⁎⁎ .25 ⁎⁎ .16 ⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .30 ⁎⁎ .40 ⁎⁎ .75
> >>> 9. Block design 45.79 10.94 .41 ⁎⁎ .43 ⁎⁎ .27 ⁎⁎ .37 ⁎⁎ .29 ⁎⁎ .32 ⁎⁎ .38
> >>> ⁎⁎ .41 ⁎⁎ .75
> >>> 10. Matrix Reasoning 20.17 2.51 .19 ⁎ .30 ⁎⁎ .18 ⁎ .21 ⁎⁎ .12 .23 ⁎⁎ .36
> >>> ⁎⁎ .37 ⁎⁎ .33 ⁎⁎ .65
>
> >>> So 7 different tests.
>
> >>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:42 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >>>> The other WM-tasks were from the WAIS test in this study. You claimed
> >>>> that increasing the difficulty on any WM-task is equal to dnb, then you
> >>>> accused me of not being scientific, when it's clearly you who are not. You
> >>>> even said that they also required updating etc, you just ASSUMED that all
> >>>> WM-tasks are equal and that spending 25% of the time on such a task compared
> >>>> to lowest significant result by jaeggi is a proof that training doesn't
> >>>> work. Why do you still claim this, when you are so overwhelmingly proved
> >>>> wrong?
>
> >>>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >>>>> It proves that not all WM-tasks are equal, and you have no idea which
> >>>>> WM-task that were used so why are you so sure that you are right? There's
> >>>>> not just any data that support your claim.
>
> >>>>>> groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.- Hide quoted text -
>
> >>>>>> > - Show quoted text -
>
> >>>>>> --
> >>>>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> >>>>>> Groups "Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence" group.
> >>>>>> To post to this group, send email to brain-t...@googlegroups.com.
> >>>>>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> >>>>>> brain-trainin...@googlegroups.com<brain-training%2Bunsubscribe@go­oglegroups.com>
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> >>>>>>http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.
>
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jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 8:01:07 AM4/23/10
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And it is hard to take you seriously, when you make outlandish
conclusions such as this: "This proofs that n-back is superior to
other WM-tasks when it comes to Gf. I rest my case." So one weak
correlation is superior to two other weak correlations. Big whoop.
This still doesn't change the fact that we are talking about comparing
training methods, not measures. I don't see how this is a hard
concept to grasp. Is this your definition of a rested case?

Pontus Granström

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Apr 23, 2010, 8:28:53 AM4/23/10
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First of all are you still claiming that the test used for example ospan is barely not a valid measurement of WM?

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 8:33:27 AM4/23/10
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Anywho, this debate is so scattered that I need bullet points to
figure out where I'm at. Lets see what we have accomplished so far:

- I said that this paper is evidence that WM games may not increase
overall intelligence, and only improve what they train

- You said that this isn't the case because n-back is a superior
training method.

- I said that in order to prove that you need a study directly
comparing the effect size between n-back training and another WM
training method.

Instead of citing a proper study (you know, one that actually has
training and effect on Gf), we now have pages of haphazard mess
because you can't follow simple instructions. Perhaps I'm partially
to blame, because I should have copied and paste "please cite proper
study" as a response repeatedly. So again, do you have a study or
not?

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 8:34:54 AM4/23/10
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Not relevant. And no I'm not. It in fact was not even a valid point
just a tangent I decided to make based off of results from your
study. It serves no purpose whatsoever, so stay on topic this time,
and I'll do the same.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 23, 2010, 8:53:03 AM4/23/10
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First of all there is dispute weather n-back really is a WM-task as you can read in the study. Still it is a superior predictor of Gf compared to the excellent WM-tasks used in this study. Training on tasks that are not equal to n-back does not mean that n-back training can't increase intelligence. You are absolutely right that training and measurements does not have to be the same.

More specifically,
the n-back task may not provide a clear indication of the
capacity of WM, rather a person's ability to efficiently update
the contents of WM to better maintain current task goals.


 I claim that this study in no way contradicts the results of jaeggi since they are not equal in time nor in training task. What's your problem? To spell it out to you: WM is a label and does not necessarily imply that all tasks are equal or use the same processes/areas in the brain, perhaps it's even wrong to call n-back a WM-task.

Recent studies have offered conflicting results on the
utility of the n-back task as a valid measure of WM (Kane,
Conway, Miura, & Colflesh, 2007; Shelton, Metzger, & Elliott,
2007).


This study had no similar task to n-back so comparing the two are absolutely wrong. It's like saying that training on pull ups doesn't increase muscle strength in the arms since training squats did not.

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:07:46 AM4/23/10
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I never disputed most of what you are typing above. But this does not
change the fact that we don't have irrefutable proof that n-back can
be trained to the point that we are not simply getting better at the
measure. If this wasn't the case, how do you explain studies with no
effect? How do you explain studies with no effect? Even ones that
used n-back.

Do you have a study comparing training n-back to another training
control or not?

On Apr 23, 8:53 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> First of all there is dispute weather n-back really is a WM-task as you can
> read in the study. Still it is a superior predictor of Gf compared to the
> excellent WM-tasks used in this study. Training on tasks that are not equal
> to n-back does not mean that n-back training can't increase intelligence.
> You are absolutely right that training and measurements does not have to be
> the same.
> *
> More specifically,
> the n-back task may not provide a clear indication of the
> capacity of WM, rather a person's ability to efficiently update
> the contents of WM to better maintain current task goals.*
>
>  I claim that this study in no way contradicts the results of jaeggi since
> they are not equal in time nor in training task. What's your problem? To
> spell it out to you: WM is a label and does not necessarily imply that all
> tasks are equal or use the same processes/areas in the brain, perhaps it's
> even wrong to call n-back a WM-task.
>
> *Recent studies have offered conflicting results on the
> utility of the n-back task as a valid measure of WM (Kane,
> Conway, Miura, & Colflesh, 2007; Shelton, Metzger, & Elliott,
> 2007).*
>
> This study had no similar task to n-back so comparing the two are absolutely
> wrong. It's like saying that training on pull ups doesn't increase muscle
> strength in the arms since training squats did not.
>
> *
>
> *
> > brain-trainin...@googlegroups.com<brain-training%2Bunsubscribe@go­oglegroups.com>
> > .
> > For more options, visit this group at
> >http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training?hl=en.
>
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jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:10:28 AM4/23/10
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"This study had no similar task to n-back so comparing the two are
absolutely
wrong. It's like saying that training on pull ups doesn't increase
muscle
strength in the arms since training squats did not. "

You can compare effect sizes of two seperate WM tasks. You just stick
one as the control and find out which is more effective. You can't
just say one is more effective without trying it out.
> ...
>
> read more »- Hide quoted text -
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> - Show quoted text -

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jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:14:38 AM4/23/10
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"To
spell it out to you: WM is a label and does not necessarily imply that
all
tasks are equal or use the same processes/areas in the brain, perhaps
it's
even wrong to call n-back a WM-task. "

Where have I denied this? I already said two posts ago that I never
made that assertion.

Pontus Granström

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:22:34 AM4/23/10
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I am confused, this study used short term memory tasks not n-back tasks. If n-back is not even a WM-task how can this prove that training on n-backing doesn't increase IQ? I do not understand that at all.

It is also interesting to note that in "my" article they also used a speeded version with a 5 min time limit on each block consisting of 12 problems, a bit of topic but still interesting since this was something that Moody criticised Jaeggi for.


This version of the task included three blocks of 12 items
each (Raven, Raven, & Court,1998). For each item, a portion of a
geometric pattern was missing and participants were instructed
to choose the response that correctly completed the
pattern. Six response options were given for items in Set 1, and 8
response options were given for items in Set 2. The items
increased in difficulty across each block and 5min were allotted
to solve each block. This task was computer administered and
participants advanced by making responses with the mouse.
Individual scores on RAPM represented the total number of
items they responded to correctly across the three blocks.

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:29:07 AM4/23/10
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I am confused, this study used short term memory tasks not n-back
tasks. If
n-back is not even a WM-task how can this prove that training on n-
backing
doesn't increase IQ? I do not understand that at all.

Not surprising. Back to where we started

N-back is considerd by most to be a WM measure.
The studies used tasks that also measure WM
In theory, training measures of WM will improve intelligence.

I am saying that we shoud find a study comparing training on two
measures of WM within the same study (preferably one with n-back) to
find out if one or both produce gains intelligence, and which method
produce greater gains. I fail to see how this perplexes you.

A direct comparison is a more accurate way to find out which is more
effective. Not this barrage of speculation and correlations.

On Apr 23, 9:22 am, Pontus Granström <lepon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am confused, this study used short term memory tasks not n-back tasks. If
> n-back is not even a WM-task how can this prove that training on n-backing
> doesn't increase IQ? I do not understand that at all.
>
> It is also interesting to note that in "my" article they also used a speeded
> version with a 5 min time limit on each block consisting of 12 problems, a
> bit of topic but still interesting since this was something that Moody
> criticised Jaeggi for.
>
> *
> This version of the task included three blocks of 12 items
> each (Raven, Raven, & Court,1998). For each item, a portion of a
> geometric pattern was missing and participants were instructed
> to choose the response that correctly completed the
> pattern. Six response options were given for items in Set 1, and 8
> response options were given for items in Set 2. The items
> increased in difficulty across each block and 5min were allotted
> to solve each block. This task was computer administered and
> participants advanced by making responses with the mouse.
> Individual scores on RAPM represented the total number of
> items they responded to correctly across the three blocks.*

Pontus Granström

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:34:55 AM4/23/10
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There is a lot of dispute around WM-tasks so making the assumption that they are as well suited for IQ-training is pretty much bogus. She stated training on a WM-task, this task is n-back, which might not even be a WM-task, so that could explain why training on n-back seem to increase IQ while spending a couple of minutes on a STM-task do not.

jttoto

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Apr 23, 2010, 9:39:55 AM4/23/10
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That is what she claims. Didn't you just cited a study where other
Phds