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How Cogmed Works

Cogmed Working Memory Training (Cogmed) is a computer-based solution for attention problems related to poor working memory. The program combines cognitive neuroscience and innovative computer game design with close professional support to deliver substantial and lasting benefits.

The program consists of 25 computerized training sessions, each 30-45 minutes long. Each session is made up of a variety of tasks targeting the many different aspects of working memory. The training is done on a computer at home, in school, or at work. The training program lasts five weeks and the client accomplishes five sessions each week. It is a rigorous program designed to improve working memory through intensive and systematic training.

Strength of the Training

Cogmed challenges the user’s working memory capacity. Each of the computerized, cognitive exercises were 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 intensely focused while also providing slight variations. The logic is very much like in the case of the fitness machines used for building muscle strength in a gym. Cogmed is highly focused, cognitive weightlifting.


The level of difficulty in the training is adjusted in real time based on the user’s performance. Fine-tuning the calibration specific to each user means that each individual is always training at the very edge of his or her cognitive capacity. This holds true for all users, from a young child with severely impaired capability, to an adult in adequate cognitive shape. Cogmed training challenges and improves your brain no matter where you begin the process.

How Cogmed Improves Other Cognitive Skills

When you improve your working memory capacity, the change generalizes to all functioning. This means, the changes are translated to other processes not just working memory. 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.


Many studies of Cogmed’s efficacy have been published in peer-reviewed journals since 2002. These include several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, as well as studies documenting changes in brain activity following Cogmed training. You can find a complete list of completed and ongoing research related to Cogmed on their website. Other studies are listed on the supporting research section of this website.

Quality Assurance

Every use of Cogmed programs is backed by a Ph.D. psychologist or a medical doctor (MD) who ensures that the quality of service meets Cogmed’s standards. Great Beginnings is Cogmed Qualified Coach Site, with quality assurance provided by the Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, a Cogmed Qualified Practice.