Neuroplasticity And Working Memory Training

After reading about the mechanisms of neuroplasticity I have been convinced that the working-memory training employed in Brain Fitness Pro results in structural changes to the brain. Just today I came across the work of a team who performed brain imaging (fMRI) studies that seem to confirm this by detecting changes in brain activity induced by working memory training. “Two experiments were carried out in which healthy, adult human subjects practiced working memory tasks for 5 weeks. Brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before, during and after training. After training, brain activity that was related to working memory increased in the middle frontal gyrus and superior and inferior parietal cortices. The changes in cortical activity could be evidence of training-induced plasticity in the neural systems that underlie working memory.”

UPDATE- February 2009: With PET scans before and after intensive working memory training, a new study at the Karolinska Institue shows that working memory training produces a change in the number of dopamine receptors.