Torkel Klingberg

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Torkel Klingberg is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. [1] He is the author of two books in Swedish, translated into English by Neil Betteridge, namely The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory [2] and The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children. [3] His research testing the hypothesis that playing memory games such as N-back also improves broader skills is controversial. [4] [5] He was one of the founders of Cogmed, but has currently no financial relationships with the company. [1] He is executive director of Cognition Matters, a project that provides free digital cognitive training tools for children worldwide. [6]


The n-back task is a continuous performance task that is commonly used as an assessment in cognitive neuroscience to measure a part of working memory and working memory capacity. The n-back was introduced by Wayne Kirchner in 1958.


Cogmed was a company that developed a cognitive training software program. The company was founded based on software created in the lab of Torkel Klingberg, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute, who was using it to present working memory challenges to people while he studied their brains using fMRI, to try to learn about neuroplasticity. When the studies appeared to show that the challenges improved working memory, Klingberg founded Cogmed in 2001, with financial backing from the Karolinska Institute and venture capitalists.

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  1. 1 2 "Torkel Klingberg". Klingberg lab. Retrieved 2016-02-22. of the founders the company Cogmed, but has currently no financial relationships with Cogmed.
  2. Klingberg, Torkel (28 September 2008). The Overflowing Brain : Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN   978-0-19-970672-3.
  3. Klingberg, Torkel (2013). The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-991710-5.
  4. Hurley, Dan (2012-04-18). "Can You Make Yourself Smarter?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-22. After just five weeks, Klingberg found that ... they also scored higher on one of the single best measures of fluid intelligence, the Raven’s Progressive Matrices.
  5. Cook, Gareth (2013-04-05). "Brain Games are Bogus". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-02-22. A pair of scientists in Europe recently gathered all of the best research... The conclusion: the games may yield improvements in the narrow task being trained, but this does not transfer to broader skills...
  6. "Cognition Matters: Team". Cognition Matters. Retrieved 2016-02-22. Executive Director: Torkel Klingberg