Paediatric Cognitive Training
Young school children who struggle to learn face life-long challenges, including grade repetition and reduced likelihood of school completion.
The Turner Institute’s Dr Megan Spencer-Smith conducts trials on promising cognitive training programs targeting functions such as working memory and inhibitory control that, when used in the home or school, could improve cognition, learning and behavioural functioning in childhood.
Identifying the children who are likely to benefit most from cognitive training programs, and under which conditions, is an important focus of Dr Spencer-Smith’s work. For example, a recent Pilot Study in classes of primary school students in Melbourne and remote South Australia found that a program combing working memory and number sense training by teachers was effective for improving numeracy.
Dr Spencer-Smith is a Senior Lecturer in developmental cognitive neuroscience at Monash Psychological Sciences and Deputy Lead of the Turner Institute's Neurodevelopment Program. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive development, learning and behavioural functioning in childhood, and she trials cognitive training methods designed to improve these.