Internal and external effects on cognition: Evidence from memory training in very preterm-born children and cognition in patients with carotid artery stenosis before and after treatment

Wapp, Manuela (2016). Internal and external effects on cognition: Evidence from memory training in very preterm-born children and cognition in patients with carotid artery stenosis before and after treatment. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Human Sciences)

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The present synopsis aims to integrate one study about memory training in very preterm-born children and two studies about cognition in patients with carotid artery stenosis before and after treatments. Preterm-born children are at increased risk of cognitive deficits and behavioural problems compared with peers born at term. This thesis determined whether memory training would improve cognitive functions in school-age very preterm-born children. Memory strategy training produced significant improvements in trained and non-trained cognitive functions; a core working memory training revealed significant effects on short-term memory and working memory tasks. Six months after training, children in both training groups showed better working memory performance than children in the waiting control group. This is evidence that memory training – an external influence on cognition – induces plastic changes in very preterm-born children. Patients with carotid artery stenosis are known to be at increased risk of cognitive impairment. We showed that patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis were at higher risk for cognitive deficits than expected in a normative sample. This thesis seeks to link cognitive plasticity to internal factors like carotid stenosis. An external factor, which influences blood flow to the brain is the nature of the carotid artery stenosis treatment. Research on the effects of carotid artery stenosis treatment on cognition has produced inconsistent results. We found significant improvement in frontal lobe functions, visual memory and motor speed one year after treatment independent of the treatment type (best medical treatment, carotid artery stenting, carotid artery endarterectomy); providing evidence for ‘treatment-induced’ cognitive plasticity. Baseline performance was negatively associated with improvement in various cognitive functions after training in very preterm-born children and after treatment in patients with carotid artery stenosis. The present synopsis aims to integrate these findings into the current and relevant literature, and discuss consequences as well as methodological considerations resulting from the studies constituting the thesis at hand.

Item Type: Thesis (Dissertation)
Division/Institute: 07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
UniBE Contributor: Wapp, Manuela; Everts, Regula and Perrig, Walter
Subjects: 100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Language: English
Submitter: Igor Hammer
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 18:41
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2016 18:41
URN: urn:nbn:ch:bel-bes-2090
Additional Information: e-Dissertation (edbe)
BORIS DOI: 10.7892/boris.81186
URI: http://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81186

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