Edith Cowan University
Fluid intelligence and working memory might be improved by training on a visual working memory n-back task (Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides & Perrig, 2008). Previous honours projects at ECU have shown no improvement in fluid intelligence due to n-back training, and a significant increase in fluid intelligence associated with general knowledge and vocabulary task training. One possibility may be that visual recognition memory may mediate the improvement in fluid intelligence (Jaeggi et al., 2008). The present study therefore investigates whether n-back training can increase visual recognition memory. A sample of 47 participants underwent 20 days of cognitive training on either the single n-back task (n = 26) or a combined general knowledge and vocabulary task (n =21). Results showed that training using the single n-back task did not significantly increase visual recognition memory scores when compared with general knowledge and vocabulary training. However, participants who had high scores on the vocabulary training task did improve their visual recognition scores significantly more than participants who had low scores. During debrief, participants in the high scoring vocabulary training group said that they used shape recognition strategies to improve their performance. It is suggested that the vocabulary task may be better at training visual recognition than the n-back task and therefore fluid intelligence.