ADD and Working Memory
Research suggests that mental exercises may increase working memory in individuals with ADD / ADHD. Read on to learn more about working memory and ways to improve it!
Many people with ADD / ADHD have difficulty with working memory. They may have difficulty with recall, focusing, organization, and distinguishing between important and unimportant cues. They may distract easily, become forgetful, or have difficulty getting started on tasks. Lengthy multiple step directions are often frustrating and impossible to follow.
The good news is that Training of Working Memory appears to help individuals improve their ability to concentrate, control impulsive behaviors, and improve problem solving skills.
What Is Working Memory?
Working memory is a “temporary storage system” in the brain that holds several facts or thoughts while solving a problem or performing a task. Working memory helps individuals hold information long enough to use it in the short term, focus on a task, and remember what to do next.
Dr. Torkel Klingberg, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and a leading researcher on working memory, notes that working memory deficits in individuals with ADHD “can explain why they forget the ‘internal plan’ of what they are supposed to do next, or forget what they should focus their attention on.”
Dr. Klingberg’s research paper, Computerized Training of Working Memory in Children with ADHD, indicates that working memory can be strengthened. Working memory is like plastic - flexible, moveable, and trainable, similar to our muscles. It can be improved with “exercise” and training.
Want to Work Out Your Working Memory?Click on the links below.
- Tips for Memorizing
- Bumper Cows This game challenges you to remember a sequence of events, and to repeat the sequence within a short timeframe. To do this, you need to use your working memory. The number of events that you remember — based upon the color, location, and/or the auditory pitch of each bumper cow — gives you an idea of how many items you can hold in your working memory.