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Journal Article

Cortical and subcortical responsiveness to intensive adaptive working memory training: An MRI surface-based analysis

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Wu, Q., Ripp, I., Emch, M., & Koch, K. (2021). Cortical and subcortical responsiveness to intensive adaptive working memory training: An MRI surface-based analysis. Human Brain Mapping, 42(9), 2907-2920. doi:10.1002/hbm.25412.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-34DC-3
Abstract Working memory training (WMT) has been shown to have effects on cognitive performance, the precise effects and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are, however, still a matter of debate. In particular, the impact of WMT on gray matter morphology is still rather unclear. In the present study, 59 healthy middle-aged participants (age range 50?65?years) were pseudo-randomly single-blinded allocated to an 8-week adaptive WMT or an 8-week nonadaptive intervention. Before and after the intervention, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed and cognitive test performance was assessed in all participants. Vertex-wise cortical volume, thickness, surface area, and cortical folding was calculated. Seven subcortical volumes of interest and global mean cortical thickness were also measured. Comparisons of symmetrized percent change (SPC) between groups were conducted to identify group by time interactions. Greater increases in cortical gyrification in bilateral parietal regions, including superior parietal cortex and inferior parietal lobule as well as precuneus, greater increases in cortical volume and thickness in bilateral primary motor cortex, and changes in surface area in bilateral occipital cortex (medial and lateral occipital cortex) were detected in WMT group after training compared to active controls. Structural training-induced changes in WM-related regions, especially parietal regions, might provide a better brain processing environment for higher WM load.