OverviewCognitive training offers a promising way to mitigate cognitive deterioration in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This randomized controlled pilot trial examined the effects of gist reasoning training in a well‐characterized MCI group upon cognitive performance, in comparison with training centered on new learning. Fifty participants with amnestic MCI were randomly assigned either to the experimental gist training group or an active control new learning group. Both groups received 8 hours of training over a 4‐week period. Comparing pre‐ and post‐training changes in cognitive functions between the two training groups, gist training correlated to higher performance in executive function (strategic control and concept abstraction) and memory span compared with the new learning group. Conversely, the new learning group showed gains in memory for details. These findings suggest that cognitive training in general yields benefits. More specifically, programs targeting top-down cognitive functions, such as gist reasoning, may have a broader impact on improving cognition in MCI.
Figure 2. Gist Training showed (i) trends towards increased post‐assessment means from baseline relative to New Learning training for (a) similarities scaled score (b) logical memory raw score, and (ii) a reduction in number of subjective memory mistakes.