  Chapter 

Cognitive training improves cognitive function of older adults for up to five years. These results were found for processing speed, and reasoning and memory training. This means that improvements in cognitive abilities through cognitive training transfer to everyday functioning. Even though there is transfer to everyday functioning, the effects were modest and were not found until five years after the intervention. One possible explanation is that there is a lag between cognitive decline and decline in everyday functioning. Another explanation can be that participants with suspected cognitive decline were excluded from the training.


Introduction

Older people get into car accidents more often. Research has exposed several risk factors for the increased accidents among older drivers, such as age, being male, bad vision, decreased processing speed, decline in physical abilities, and dementia-related cognitive impairments. Cognitive training can improve the cognitive abilities of older adults and prevent accidents.

Research has shown a strong relationship between processing speed and car accidents among older adults. Because of this it is hypothesized that cognitive speed of processing training will cause a decreased rate of car accidents.

A relationship has also been established between driving outcomes and cognitive reasoning and memory performance. For this reason, training in these areas might also decrease the amount of car accidents among older people.

Conclusion

The results show that cognitive training improves cognitive function of older adults for up to five years. These results were found for processing speed, and reasoning and memory training. This means that improvements in cognitive abilities through cognitive training transfer to everyday functioning.

Transfer

Even though there is transfer to everyday functioning, the effects were modest and were not found until five years after the intervention. One possible explanation is that there is a lag between cognitive decline and decline in everyday functioning. Because of the training the participants maintained their cognitive abilities and didn’t have a big decline in their everyday functioning. Another explanation can be that participants with suspected cognitive decline were excluded from the training. So the participants who did the training were already more advanced in their cognitive abilities and that delayed the onset of functional ability decline.

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