Effects of Systematic Categorization Training on Cognitive Performance in Healthy Older Adults and in Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury
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This study investigated the effects of hierarchical cognitive training using the categorization program (CP), designed initially for adults with cognitive deficits associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Fifty-eight participants were included: a group of fifteen young adults with TBI (ages 18-48), another group of fifteen noninjured young adults (ages 18-50), and two groups of adults over 60 randomly assigned into the experimental group (n=14) or the control group (n=14). Following neuropsychological testing, the two young adult groups and the experimental older adult group received the CP training for 10-12 weeks. The CP training consisted of 8 levels targeting concept formation, object categorization, and decision-making abilities. Two CP tests (administered before and after the training) and three probe tasks (administered at specified intervals during the training) assessed skills relating to categorization. All treated groups showed significant improvement in their categorization performance, although younger participants (with or without TBI) demonstrated greater gains. Gains on the categorization measures were maintained by a subgroup of older adults up to four months posttraining. Implications of these findings in terms of adult cognitive learning and directions for future research on adult cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive stimulation programs are discussed.