The dynamics of change in striatal activity following updating training

Authors

  • Simone Kühn,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Experimental Psychology and Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    2. Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine, Campus Mitte, St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, Große Hamburger Straße 5-11, 10115 Berlin, Germany
    • Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Experimental Psychology and Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent, Belgium
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  • Florian Schmiedek,

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
    2. German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), Schloßstraße 29, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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  • Hannes Noack,

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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  • Elisabeth Wenger,

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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  • Nils C. Bodammer,

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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  • Ulman Lindenberger,

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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  • Martin Lövden

    1. Center of Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
    2. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Gävlegatan 16, 11330 Stockholm, Sweden
    3. Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
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Abstract

Increases in striatal activity have been suggested to mediate training-related improvements in working-memory ability. We investigated the temporal dynamics of changes in task-related brain activity following training of working memory. Participants in an experimental group and an active control group, trained on easier tasks of a constant difficulty in shorter sessions than the experimental group, were measured before, after about 1 week, and after more than 50 days of training. In the experimental group an initial increase of working-memory related activity in the functionally defined right striatum and anatomically defined right and left putamen was followed by decreases, resulting in an inverted u-shape function that relates activity to training over time. Activity increases in the striatum developed slower in the active control group, observed at the second posttest after more than 50 days of training. In the functionally defined left striatum, initial activity increases were maintained after more extensive training and the pattern was similar for the two groups. These results shed new light on the relation between activity in the striatum (especially the putamen) and the effects of working memory training, and illustrate the importance of multiple measurements for interpreting effects of training on regional brain activity. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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