Mental-Imagery-Based Mnemonic Training: A New Kind of Cognitive Training

Xiaoyu Luan, Yayoi Kawasaki, Qi Chen*, Eriko Sugimori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We investigated the immediate and maintenance effects of mental-imagery-based mnemonic training on improving youths’ working memory, long-term memory, arithmetic and spatial abilities, and fluid intelligence. In Experiment 1, 26 Chinese participants (15 boys, 11 girls) aged 10–16 years were divided into an experimental group that received 8 days of mental-imagery-based mnemonic training and a no-contact control group. Participants completed pre-, post-, and three follow-up tests (3, 6, and 12 months after the pre-test). In Experiment 2, 54 Chinese children (28 boys, 26 girls), all 12 years old, were divided into experimental and control groups. Participants completed pre-, post-, and follow-up tests (three months after the pre-test). Results showed that the training significantly affected long-term memory-related task performance but no effects were observed on working memory, arithmetic or spatial ability, or fluid intelligence-related tasks. Moreover, the effect of the training on long-term memory lasted up to one year; the more frequently the training was used, the more effective it was. A content analysis of the feedback submitted by parents of participants in Experiment 2 three months after the training showed that the children used the strategy more for memorizing content such as Chinese and English, as well as for musical scores. Furthermore, there was also the possibility that the training improved abilities and academic performance such as concentration and math performance. Our results provide a basis for the further exploration of mental-imagery-based mnemonic training as a novel training modality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number740829
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 9


  • children
  • cognitive training
  • fluid intelligence
  • long-term memory
  • mental imagery
  • mnemonic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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