Multitasking (MT) constitutes engaging in two or more cognitive activities at the same time. MT-training improves performance on untrained MT tasks and alters the functional activity of the brain during MT. However, the effects of MT-training on neural mechanisms beyond MT-related functions are not known. We investigated the effects of 4 weeks of MT-training on regional gray matter volume (rGMV) and functional connectivity during rest (resting-FC) in young human adults. MT-training was associated with increased rGMV in three prefrontal cortical regions (left lateral rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), and left inferior frontal junction), the left posterior parietal cortex, and the left temporal and lateral occipital areas as well as decreased resting-FC between the right DLPFC and an anatomical cluster around the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Our findings suggest that participation in MT-training is as a whole associated with task-irrelevant plasticity (i.e., neural changes are not limited to certain specific task conditions) in regions and the network that are assumed to play roles in MT as well as diverse higher-order cognitive functions. We could not dissociate the effects of each task component and the diverse cognitive processes involved in MT because of the nature of the study, and these remain to be investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology