IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 191: Evaluating Successful Aging in Older People Who Participated in Computerized or Paper-and-Pencil Memory Training: The Memoria Mejor Program (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background. The evaluation of successful aging includes objective criteria to measure cognitive function and psychological well-being and levels of functional capacity needed to perform daily activities related to the preservation of autonomy. In addition, the emergence of computerized cognitive training programs has allowed us to use a new class of tools to verify the theoretical postulates of neural plasticity in aging. Objective. The present study investigates subjective and objective criteria of successful aging in healthy older adults participating in a memory training program offered as two versions: computer and paper-and-pencil. Method. Fifty-four healthy older adult participants recruited for the study were organized into two training groups. Group 1 (G1) used the computer program and Group 2 (G2) used the paper-and-pencil program. Results. The analysis revealed no significant differences in psychological well-being between the two training groups. However, the groups did differ significantly in objective evaluations of successful aging, as measured by attention and everyday memory, and brain activity as measured by sLORETA, with G1 outperforming G2 on both measures. Conclusion. Computerized memory training programs show promise for restoring cognitive and cerebral functioning in older adults, and consequently, may be better suited to achieving the objective criteria of successful aging than paper-and-pencil memory training programs. However, this conclusion should be taken with caution since differences in age and educational level may have influenced the results.