Using Virtual Reality to Assess and Promote Transfer of Memory Training in Older Adults With Memory Complaints: A Randomized Controlled Trial

One of the primary concerns for older adults is age-related memory loss, which is targeted by cognitive intervention programs to reduce the impact of cognitive decline. Memory training generally involves teaching mnemonics known to improve the quality of encoding and that facilitate later retrieval (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA; Willis and Belleville, 2016). Strategic memory training is found to increase memory performance in healthy seniors (e.g., Ball et al., 2002Engvig et al., 2010) as well as those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; Akhtar et al., 2006Belleville et al., 20062018Hampstead et al., 2008Kinsella et al., 2009Lim et al., 2012Olchik et al., 2013). The finding that older adults remain capable of learning new memory strategies has advanced the field, since it demonstrates that cognition and the brain remain plastic even in old age. Yet, the ultimate goal of cognitive training is not to improve memory for words learned in experimental contexts, but to transfer and improve memory in everyday life. 

View full article