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Welcome to CogniFit! Welcome to CogniFit Research!

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  • Get access to a complete cognitive assessment for phonological short-term memory and other cognitive abilities

  • Identify and assess the presence of alterations or deficits

  • Stimulate and improve your phonological short-term memory and other cognitive functions with exercise

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What is phonological short-term memory or echoic memory?

Phonological short-term memory, also known as echoic memory, is one of the sensory memory registries. This type of sensory memory is short, but is resistant to brain injury. People who suffer from severe amnesia continue to have this type of sensory memory in tact.

Phonological short-term memory, or echoic memory, is a component that makes up our sensory memory that is in charge of all of the short-term phonologic information that we receive from our environment. Diverse studies have noted that this system may store a greater amount of information for a longer period of time (3-4 seconds average) than visual memory.

Phonological short-term memory consists of an information store that records phonological information, precategorial in nature, of great capacity and limited persistence. That is, short-term phonological memory retains, literally, the information from the input or sound stimulus before being processed.

This stimuli will automatically go to the central auditory processor, which is in charge of changing the electric signals from sounds into mental concepts, creating a type of sound image, which we can use to keep in our brains for a short period of time. The sound image can be only be replayed during the short period of time following the auditory stimuli.

Sensory memory is measured in the primary auditory cortex. This phonological memory storage area extends through different areas of the brain because it requires the use of diverse processes. The majority of these brain regions are located in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is also where executive and attentional control are monitored.

Examples of phonological short-term memory or echoic memory

  • Remember the name of someone who you just met
  • Recite a telephone number that you were given
  • Remember the address that you were just given
  • Listen to the radio during a contest, remember the answer, and call the number to give your answer.
  • Remember someone's voice

Disorders or pathologies related to deficits in phonological short-term memory or auditory processing

Showing difficulties or problems processing echoic or phonologic memory may be related to a language processing disorder, as these children will have a hard time repeating the sounds and words necessary to acquire language. Aside from these deficits, it is often related to reading problems, ADHD, acquired dyslexia, and dyscalculia. Children that have problems with echoic or phonological short-term memory generally have problems paying attention and remembering information they received orally.

  • Children with phonological memory deficits have trouble with tasks that have multiple steps.
  • They need more time to recognize and process the information they've heard.
  • Low academic performance may also be related to deficient phonological processing.
  • It is common to have behavioral problems. Deficits in processing or phonological short-term memory can cause they child to get frustrated and feel incompetent.
  • Children with working memory deficits tend to have language problems (for example, they may have problems developing their vocabulary, understanding language, learning a new language...).
  • Difficulties spelling a word, understanding a text, etc.

In adults, we can find phonological short-term memory problems in people who have suffered from a brain injury, head trauma with lesions in the dorsolateral - prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal cortex.

How can you assess problems with phonological short-term memory?

With a complete neuropsychological assessment, it is possible to efficiently and accurately measure a user's phonological short-term. or echoic, memory.

The computerized neuropsychological battery assessment to assess cognitive level, or the Cognitive Assessment Battery (CAB)™ allows us to precisely measure the user's general cognitive level, and has several cognitive tests to measure echoic memory.

The battery of tasks used to assess phonological or echoic memory was inspired by a classic test Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) by Rey (1964). The tasks that measure phonological short-term memory attempt to assess the user's ability to interpret auditory stimuli. This task will require the user to extract the meaning of the given information, and immediately comprehend the message in order to complete the corresponding action.

The sequencing Test WOM-ASM is a complete test that not only assesses phonological short-term memory, but also assesses planning, visual memory, short-term memory, spatial perception, response time, working memory, and processing speed.

Is it possible to improve phonological short-term memory?

Absolutely. The key to improving phonological memory consists of improving retention and storage, helping it become as efficient as possible.

CogniFit has multiple types of exercises to stimulate and train phonological short-term memory. If neuroscience has shown us anything about brain plasticity, it's that the more we use a neural circuit, the stronger it gets, which means that the circuits used in phonological processing can be improved as well.

With the neuropsychological assessment from CogniFit, we will measure phonological short-term memory and, based on the gathered results, we create a complete training program with personalized cognitive exercises designed to improve phonological memory.

The Neuropsychological Assessment Program from CogniFit was designed by a complete team of neurologists and cognitive psychologists that study the processes of brain plasticity and neurogenesis. You only need 15 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week to stimulate the cognitive skills associated with phonological short-term memory.

This program is available online. The different interactive exercises are presented as fun mental games that can be played online. After each session, CogniFit will provide a detailed report with the cognitive state of each user.

The battery of online exercises from CogniFit helps create new synapses and neural circuits capable of reorganizing and recovering the function of your weakest cognitive domains, among which is phonological short-term memory.

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