Next webinar in the series “Guiding Parents”, jointly presented by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and LLTF. (other webinars in the series can be seen HERE)
What is “Brain Training” and will it help my child?
What you will learn:
The premise of brain training is that all skills, including cognitive and motor abilities, can be improved with repetitive practice. Brain training programs are appealing to families with children who are experiencing difficulties at school given most advertise that improvement in trained skills will be observed at the completion of their training program, and lead to better performance at school. In this webinar you will learn about the basic elements of brain training.
A range of different brain training programs are available, but most involve regular training using a suite of computer games. I will show you, and explain the features of, a widely administered brain training program called “Cogmed”, which focuses on working memory and attention.
This program was developed by neuroscientists, has been heavily researched, and there is some evidence that it results in short term improvements in working memory. In this webinar I will discuss what we currently know and don’t know about the benefits of brain training, specifically “Cogmed”. I will also present results from studies that have applied cognitive training programs to children born preterm. At the completion of the webinar you will have a reasonable understanding of brain training, the evidence supporting this approach of intervention, and whether or not you feel it is appropriate for your child.
Why you should attend:
It is very common for children to experience learning and educational difficulties at some stage. Brain training programs are being marketed as a treatment for these difficulties, however the programs are usually expensive and require considerable family effort and time.
Parents who are concerned about their child’s learning and educational progress, or are interested in brain training for other purposes, are encouraged to attend. Following the webinar parents will be in a better position to decide on the suitability of brain training for their child.
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About your presenter – Professor Peter Anderson
A Professor Peter Anderson is a Principal Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Professorial Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. He is Group Leader of the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) team, which has an international reputation for studying the impact brain injury and brain development has on cognitive, motor, educational and behavioural outcomes in high-risk infants.
Prof Anderson is on the executive of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine. He is also a senior researcher in the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study Group (VICS) and co-director of the Australian Centre for Child Neuropsychological Studies (AC-CNS).Prof Anderson is a psychologist interested in the cognitive development of children, and for the past 15 years has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive and learning problems in children born very preterm. He is involved in observational outcome studies, longitudinal neuroimaging studies, and numerous randomised controlled trials assessing the long-term benefits and consequences of a range of obstetric, perinatal, and developmental interventions.
A/Prof Anderson is currently a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and his research has been continuously funded by NHMRC for the past 12 years. Training the next generation of researchers is a priority for A/Prof Anderson, and he has supervised more than 30 graduate research students through to completion and mentors many postdoctoral fellows.
He is an ambassador for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing support, friendship and information specifically for families of children born premature or sick.