Monica Oganes & Associates

Cogmed Working Memory Training

Cogmed Working Memory Training is a computer-based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory. We combine cognitive neuroscience with innovative computer game design and close professional support to deliver substantial and lasting benefits to our patients. Our program includes easy-to-use software and personal support.

Working memory is the search engine of the mind. It is the cognitive function responsible for keeping information online, manipulating it, and using it in your thinking. It is the way that you delegate the things you encounter to the parts of your brain that can take action. In this way, working memory is necessary for staying focused on a task, blocking out distractions, and keeping you updated and aware about what’s going on around you.

We use our working memory constantly in daily life helping us to perform efficiently and effectively in academic, professional, and social settings. Cogmed exists to help you improve your working memory to be better equipped to meet your challenges.

Age Working memory is crucial for… Indicators that a working memory needs exercise…
Pre School
  • Learning the alphabet
  • Focusing on short instructions such as “come brush your teeth”
  • Remaining seated to complete independent activities such as puzzles
  • Seems unwilling or unable to learn alphabet, numbers
  • Can’t focus long enough to grasp and follow instructions
  • Flits from one thing to another
Elementary School
  • Reading and understanding the content (reading comprehension)
  • Mental arithmetic
  • Interacting and responding appropriately in peer activities such as playing on the school ground
  • Reads (decodes) but does not understand or remember material read
  • Problems memorizing math facts
  • Difficulty participating in group activities (e.g., awaiting turn); makes friends but cannot keep them
Middle School
  • Doing homework independently
  • Planning and packing for an activity
  • Solving multi-step math problems, especially word problems
  • Participating in team sports
  • Does not begin or persist with homework without supervision
  • Packs but forgets items essential for activity
  • Reads the problem but can’t break it into understandable parts
  • Problems grasping rules of a game, functioning as a “team player”
High School
  • Getting a driver’s license – and driving safely
  • Understanding social cues, responding to demands of a social situation
  • Writing essays, reports
  • Problems with spatial awareness, reading and following traffic cues
  • Interrupts, talks excessively, doesn’t listen to others
  • Essays and reports are short, sloppy, and disorganized
  • Focusing on and following a conversation
  • Making and adhering to work plans, such as studying for an exam successfully
  • Participating in group activities in school and socially
  • Sustaining focus and interest throughout lectures
  • Changes topics suddenly, makes irrelevant comments
  • Procrastinates, then tries to “cram” the night before an exam
  • Doesn’t listen or participate during group activities
  • Falls asleep or “zones out” during lectures
  • Getting to work on time
  • Meeting deadlines at work
  • Prioritizing multiple activities
  • Handling conflicts within the family
  • Frequently late to work
  • Often underestimates time required for a task
  • Has problems breaking a project into manageable steps
  • Often loses temper with children and spouse
  • Actively participate in group discussions
  • Being able to perform what you are planning to do
  • Organizing your materials and activities
  • Managing important financial transactions
  • Forgetfulness
  • Distractibility
  • Losing track of the topic in a conversation
  • Misplacing things like glasses, mobile phone, keys, etc.


Very focused design – working memory improvement
The program challenges the user’s working memory capacity. The computerized, cognitive exercises are designed by neuroscientists to target this key cognitive function that has been proven to be fundamental to executive function and attention. The details of the exercise design allow the program to be very focused and yet provide slight variations.

Finely tuned difficulty level – you are always challenged

The difficulty level of the training is adjusted in real time by the software based on the user’s performance. The highly fine-tuned calibration means that every Cogmed user will always be training at the very edge of his or her cognitive capacity. This is true for many people, from a young child with severely impaired capacity, to an adult in good cognitive shape. Whoever you are, Cogmed training will challenge your brain – and improve it.

Highly personal support ensures you will complete the training
The program is carefully designed, rigorous, and focused on a key cognitive function. But to have strong real life effects, it also has to be used in the right way. This is why Cogmed training is always supported by a Cogmed-trained coach. The coach makes sure the user has the right profile for the training, and that the timing is right. The coach is responsible for providing the motivation, support, and feedback necessary to get the most out the training. Thanks to the Cogmed coaches, 90% of Cogmed users complete their training.


The improved working memory “generalizes” to behavior

When you improve your working memory capacity, the change generalizes to your behavior. In other words, the change is translated to other things than just working memory. The research breakthrough is that by training a tightly defined cognitive function you create a cascading effect of improvements. You will be better able to pay attention, resist distractions, self-manage, and learn.

Cogmed training delivers substantial improvements in working memory capacity. An individual with better working memory will experience better ability to focus, resist distractions, and control impulses.

The training benefits are comprehensive, but they all follow from increased working memory capacity. The primary objective of the training is to improve attention, but the overall effect is often described as more mature behavior.

For children, parents report improvement in social skills, taking initiative, remembering instructions, and completing assignments independently. The goal is better academic performance, particularly in math and reading comprehension, as well as social awareness.

For adults, the effects are being able to stay focused, resist distractions, plan activities, complete tasks, and follow and contribute to complex discussions. The goal is improved professional performance and attentional stamina.


  • Individuals who have struggled with attention and learning all their lives – sometimes with serious problems in the form of ADHD or Learning Disability.
  • Individuals who have had a brain injury, stroke, or other insult to the brain, reducing their working memory capacity.
  • Individuals who find their ability to focus is diminishing due to the normal effects of aging, or because of increased cognitive demands and informational overload.


  • Initial interview: A meeting with a Cogmed coach is scheduled to discuss difficulties and goals, as well as to determine whether Cogmed would be of benefit.
  • Start-up session: Your Cogmed coach helps you plan and structure your training.
  • Five weeks of training weekly with coach calls: You complete weekly trainings in the comfort of your home. Your Cogmed coach supports you and advices you on how to get the most out of the training, hear feedback, and increase motivation.
  • Access to the Cogmed Training Web: You and your Cogmed coach review and monitor the results of each day’s training, using our online system.
  • Wrap-up session: After the training is completed, your Cogmed coach provides feedback data from rating scales and the Cogmed Training Web.
  • Six months follow-up interview: Your Cogmed coach documents training effects again, with more time elapsed and the effects fully emerged.


Cogmed Research

What is working memory and why does it matter?


Monica Oganes & Associates is a Cogmed Qualified Practice. For more information or to schedule an appointment to review our Cogmed Working Memory Training Program contact us.

© 2012 Monica Oganes & Associates