Volume 64, Issue 6 p. 1293-1298
Brief Reports

Cognitive and Neural Effects of Vision-Based Speed-of-Processing Training in Older Adults with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study

Feng Lin PhD, MB

Corresponding Author

Feng Lin PhD, MB

School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Address correspondence to Feng Lin, 601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Kathi L. Heffner PhD

Kathi L. Heffner PhD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Ping Ren PhD

Ping Ren PhD

School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Madalina E. Tivarus PhD

Madalina E. Tivarus PhD

Department of Imaging Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Judith Brasch MS

Judith Brasch MS

School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Ding-Geng Chen PhD

Ding-Geng Chen PhD

School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Department of Biostatics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Mark Mapstone PhD

Mark Mapstone PhD

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Anton P. Porsteinsson MD

Anton P. Porsteinsson MD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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Duje Tadin PhD

Duje Tadin PhD

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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First published: 20 June 2016
Citations: 72

Abstract

Objectives

To examine the cognitive and neural effects of vision-based speed-of-processing (VSOP) training in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and contrast those effects with an active control (mental leisure activities (MLA)).

Design

Randomized single-blind controlled pilot trial.

Setting

Academic medical center.

Participants

Individuals with aMCI (N = 21).

Intervention

Six-week computerized VSOP training.

Measurements

Multiple cognitive processing measures, instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and two resting state neural networks regulating cognitive processing: central executive network (CEN) and default mode network (DMN).

Results

VSOP training led to significantly greater improvements in trained (processing speed and attention: F1,19 = 6.61, partial η2 = 0.26, P = .02) and untrained (working memory: F1,19 = 7.33, partial η2 = 0.28, P = .01; IADLs: F1,19 = 5.16, partial η2 = 0.21, P = .03) cognitive domains than MLA and protective maintenance in DMN (F1, 9 = 14.63, partial η2 = 0.62, P = .004). VSOP training, but not MLA, resulted in a significant improvement in CEN connectivity (Z = −2.37, P = .02).

Conclusion

Target and transfer effects of VSOP training were identified, and links between VSOP training and two neural networks associated with aMCI were found. These findings highlight the potential of VSOP training to slow cognitive decline in individuals with aMCI. Further delineation of mechanisms underlying VSOP-induced plasticity is necessary to understand in which populations and under what conditions such training may be most effective.