Effects of training of processing speed on neural systems

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yuko Sassa, Tomomi Nagase, Rui Nouchi, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Processing speed (PS) training improves performance on untrained PS tasks in the elderly. However, PS training's effects on the PS of young adults and on neural mechanisms are still unknown. In humans, we investigated this issue using psychological measures, voxelbased morphometry, the n-back task [a typical task for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies with conditions of 0-back (simple cognitive processes) and 2-back tasks (working memory; WM)], resting-state fMRI for the analysis of functional connectivity between brain regions during rest (resting-FC), and intensive adaptive training of PS. PS training was associated with (1) significant or substantial improvement in the performance of PS measures, (2) changes in the gray matter structures of the left superior temporal gyrus and the bilateral regions around the occipitotemporal junction, (3) changes in functional activity that are related to simple cognitive processes (but not those of WM) in the left perisylvian region, and (4) increased resting-FC between the left perisylvian area and the area that extends to the lingual gyrus and calcarine cortex. These results confirm the PS-training-induced plasticity in PS and the traininginduced plasticity of functions and structures that are associated with speeded cognitive processes. The observed neural changes caused by PS training may give us new insights into how PS training, and possibly other cognitive training, can improve PS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12139-12148
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 24


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