Cogmed is a brain training computer software that promises to reduce symptoms of ADHD in hyperactive children. Find out how Cogmed works today in our review.
What is Cogmed?
Cogmed is a private computer software company that was founded in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden. The company creates a variety of brain training programs – including games that are targeted towards people with ADHD and other cognitive disorders.
Today, Cogmed has expanded into the mobile app space and now offers a free app for the iPad.
The company claims their software is “proven to increase working memory”. Working memory, in turn, “underlies attention, behavior, and the capacity to learn.”
As evidence to that fact, Cogmed posts links to dozens of its studies (both positive and negative studies, by the way) on its official website.
Perhaps the piece of evidence Cogmed is most proud about is that “80 percent of Cogmed end-users report they experience improvements in inattention by 30 percent on average.”
The company also claims that as of May 2015, there are more than 55 peer-reviewed publications that have reported that Cogmed created sustained improvements on working memory and attention in both children and adults.
You can’t buy Cogmed online and start right away. The software is licensed to psychologists across America, who then recommend Cogmed to their clients. A growing number of American schools also have Cogmed licenses.
Today, Cogmed is owned by Pearson Education. Pearson purchased Cogmed in 2010.
Who is Cogmed For?
Cogmed started as a program primarily for children. Today, the company advertises itself to virtually all demographics. At the company’s website, they claim that “Cogmed is for anyone who is constrained by their working memory and wants to improve their attention.”
That includes “executives, seniors, children, students, and adults”.
The company’s training programs are separated into programs for children, teens, and adults.
How Does Cogmed Work?
The Cogmed program consists of a specific set of working memory tasks that can be performed on any computer or mobile device. The programs are customized for each individual user, with difficulty levels adjusting according to “a highly sensitive and specific algorithm.”
Throughout the course of the Cogmed program, trainees are required to complete eight exercises every day. The exercises are expected to take 30 to 45 minutes for the entire session. You continue this training program five days a week for five weeks total. In recent years, the company has also released different variations of this training program that last for different lengths of time.
You can’t test out the games until you sign up for Cogmed. However, you can view a video featuring some of the company’s memory games and learning activities by going here: http://www.cogmed.com/rm
Play the video on the side of that screen to see how some of the memory-boosting games work.
How to Sign Up for Cogmed
Signing up for Cogmed isn’t as easy as signing up for, say, Lumosity (which happens to be Cogmed’s biggest rival). You can’t visit the Cogmed website and immediately begin.
Instead, you’ll need to connect with a Cogmed-certified psychologist in your area. The best way to do that is to use this online form on the official Cogmed website here: http://www.cogmed.com/find-a-practice
According to a recent Bloomberg article, America is the company’s fastest growing market. 500 to 1,000 psychologists in America are licensed for the software.
These psychologists pay about $100 to $200 per patient for Cogmed licensing. Patients are charged an average of $650 to $2,250 for the entire 5 week treatment. That fee includes testing and supervision services.
Cogmed is also becoming available at select schools across the country. Schools pay a licensing fee similar to the psychologists’ licensing fees.
What to Expect from Cogmed Training
When you first sign up for Cogmed, your training program consists of the following:
— Initial Interview: “All Cogmed providers provide screening to determine suitable users”, including an assessment of whether or not the individual will benefit from the training.
— Start-up Session: Your Cogmed coach plans and structures the training.
— Weekly Coach Calls: The trainee completes training lessons at home, school, or work while completing weekly coach calls to “hear feedback, and increase motivation”.
— Access to the Cogmed Coaching Center: The Cogmed Coaching Center tracks the trainee’s progress and lets both the coach and the trainee see how learning has improved over the weeks.
— Wrap-up Session: The Cogmed coach summarizes the training and provides feedback data using rating scales from the Cogmed Coaching Center.
— Six Months Follow-up Interview: The Cogmed Coach documents training effects once more, including time elapsed and how the effects fully emerged.
Cogmed is an international company with offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The company was founded in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden and was purchased by Pearson Education in 2010. Pearson Education is headquartered in New York City.