Working memory training using mental calculation impacts regional gray matter of the frontal and parietal regions

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Yuko Sassa, Hiroshi Hashizume, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Ai Fukushima, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Training working memory (WM) improves performance on untrained cognitive tasks and alters functional activity. However, WM training's effects on gray matter morphology and a wide range of cognitive tasks are still unknown. We investigated this issue using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), various psychological measures, such as non-trained WM tasks and a creativity task, and intensive adaptive training of WM using mental calculations (IATWMMC), all of which are typical WM tasks. IATWMMC was associated with reduced regional gray matter volume in the bilateral fronto-parietal regions and the left superior temporal gyrus. It improved verbal letter span and complex arithmetic ability, but deteriorated creativity. These results confirm the training-induced plasticity in psychological mechanisms and the plasticity of gray matter structures in regions that have been assumed to be under strong genetic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23175
JournalPloS one
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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