Author Archives: Rob Winningham

Cognitive Training Works and Has Long Lasting Benefits

Another study, published in the January 2014 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has demonstrated that not only does cognitive stimulation work, but the effects can persist for many years.

Fortunately, there are an increasing number of programs and ways that people can get access to high quality cognitive stimulation programs and resources. We have been hearing more about and I have been impressed by the number of apps available for the iPad that would count as cognitive stimulation. We also have programs that train professionals to offer high quality cognitive stimulation classes.

Here is a link to a summary of the recently published scientific article:

For more information about the Certified Cognitive Stimulation Instructor Program, please go to:

New Report: Travel is Good for Psychological and Physical Health

This is an interesting report showing travel is good for our health. This makes sense as travel engages us cognitively as we navigate a new environment, learn new things, and have new experiences. Travel often leads to increased physical exercise as we often spend more time walking and being outdoors, which is always good for mental and physical health. But this report also suggests travel lowers stress, maybe being away from common daily stressors and getting a bigger picture perspective helps. As for the airport experience, I would suggest a mindfulness meditation app (e.g., Mindfulness Trainer), noise canceling headphones, and leaving early for the airport (see Onion story about dad who leaves really early).,0,389887.story

Dr. Rob’s Cranium Crunches

Dr. Rob Winningham has partnered with to bring cutting edge cognitive stimulation materials to their members. Here is a sample of what we are producing.

1. Mini Sudokus

Mini Sudoku Explained

Mini Sudoku Activity

2. Mental Rotation

Mental Rotation Explained

Mental Rotation Activity



How to Compare a Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) Score to a St. Louis University Memory Status Exam (SLUMS)

My students and I recently published a paper comparing the MMSE and SLUMs cognitive and dementia screening tools. To download the paper, go to:


Practitioners have long relied upon the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) to quickly assess cognitive functioning in older adults. The Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) exam possesses many potential psychometric advantages, however data on the relationship between scores on the SLUMS and MMSE has yet to be established. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to establish comparative norms between the MMSE and the SLUMS examinations. The current study hypothesized that participants would score lower on the SLUMS than the MMSE, with adults exhibiting higher levels of cognitive reserve, as measured by educational attainment, having a greater difference between the test scores. A total of 118 individuals (96 female, 21 male) with an age range from 41 to 96 (M=80.03, SD=8.71) with an average educational attainment of 14.97 years (SD= 2.68), completed both tests. Results indicate a significant difference between the mean SLUMS and MMSE scores (p<.001), as well as a significant difference between those in assisted and independent living environments (p<.001). The evidence did not support the cognitive reserve hypothesis. Implications and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

Recommended Citation

Buckingham, Devan N.; Mackor, Katie M.; Miller, Ryan M.; Pullam, Nehala N.; Molloy, Kristoffer N.; Grigsby, Chelsey C.; Kopel, Jesse L.; Graves, Amanda K.; and Winningham, Robert G. (2013) “Comparing the Cognitive Screening Tools: MMSE and SLUMS,” PURE Insights: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 3.
Available at:

Become a Certified Cognitive Stimulation Instructor

Demonstrate Your Proficiency by Becoming a Certified Cognitive Stimulation Instructor

The training will help you learn how to best help the older adults you work with. You’ll learn how to:

-Maximize residents’ memory ability
-Decrease residents’ chance of developing dementia
-Improve social support and engagement in the community
-Take advantage of physical exercise program to maximize memory ability
-Motivate residents to engage in activities and programming
-Overcome the effects of depression and apathy in residents
-Manage challenging behaviors in people who have cognitive impairment

After viewing each of the eight instructional videos, health care professionals will be able to take an online test at their own pace.  After each test is completed and passed, a certificate of completion will be issued.  After all eight tests are successfully completed; a “Certified Cognitive Stimulation Instructor” diploma will be awarded. Thousands of professionals have completed a similar certification course taught by Dr. Winningham and most report it was the most valuable training they have ever experienced.

To learn more, go to: