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In human participants, the intensive practice of particular cognitive activities can induce sustained improvements in cognitive performance, which in some cases transfer to benefits on untrained activities. Despite the growing body of research examining the behavioral effects of cognitive training in children, no studies have explored directly the neural basis of these training effects in a systematic, controlled fashion. Therefore, the impact of training on brain neurophysiology in childhood, and the mechanisms by which benefits may be achieved, are unknown. Here, we apply new methods to examine dynamic neurophysiological connectivity in the context of a randomized trial of adaptive working memory training undertaken in children. After training, connectivity between frontoparietal networks and both lateral occipital complex and inferior temporal cortex was altered. Furthermore, improvements in working memory after training were associated with increased strength of neural connectivity at rest, with the magnitude of these specific neurophysiological changes being mirrored by individual gains in untrained working memory performance.

Original publication

DOI

10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4517-14.2015

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Neurosci

Publication Date

22/04/2015

Volume

35

Pages

6277 - 6283

Keywords

Cognitive training, development, electrophysiology, magnetoencephalography, working memory, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Female, Humans, Learning, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Neural Pathways, Rest