Memory improvement tapes: How effective for elderly adults?

George W. Rebok, D. Xeno Rasmusson, Frederick W. Bylsma, Jason Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effectiveness of two commercially available audiocassette memory improvement programs was evaluated in a sample of 32 healthy, community- living elderly adults. Participants were given a set of either SyberVision's Neuropsychology of Memory Power tapes (Bornstein, 1989) or Nightingale- Conant's Mega Memory tapes (Trudeau, 1992), and a portable cassette player, and instructed to complete the programs within 10 weeks. All participants received a comprehensive battery of memory tests prior to and immediately following the memory improvement programs. Participants completing the memory improvement programs showed no greater gains in memory test performance than no-treatment control participants, but did report greater confidence in their memory abilities. Participants completing the Mega Memory program thought they were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease after having completed it compared with participants in the other two conditions. Participants reported finding both tape programs acceptable and potentially useful for improving memory; those who completed the Memory Power program reported somewhat greater satisfaction than those completing the Mega Memory program. The claims about rapid, dramatic memory improvement with use of these products were not substantiated in this group of elderly adults and appear to be grossly exaggerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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