Working memory deficits can be overcome: Impacts of training and medication on working memory in children with ADHD

J. Holmes, S.E. Gathercole, M. Place, D.L. Dunning, K.A. Hilton, Julian G. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the impact of two interventions—a training program and stimulant medication—on working memory (WM) function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Twenty-five children aged between 8 and 11 years participated in training that taxed WM skills to the limit for a minimum of 20 days, and completed other assessments of WM and IQ before and after training, and with and without prescribed drug treatment. While medication significantly improved visuo-spatial memory performance, training led to substantial gains in all components of WM across untrained tasks. Training gains associated with the central executive persisted over a 6-month period. IQ scores were unaffected by either intervention. These findings indicate that the WM impairments in children with ADHD can be differentially ameliorated by training and by stimulant medication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-836
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010

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