Working memory (WM) is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. WM plays a key role in a wide range of higher order cognitive functions and its impairment is observed in a wide range of psychiatric or neurological disorders, making it clinically important. Intensive adaptive training of WM has been shown to enhance individual WM. In this article, we review the studies and describe the methodologies of WM training, along with the psychological, clinical, and neuroimaging findings related to WM training. Training of WM is associated with a wide range of cognitive improvements in non-clinical and clinical subjects, although, on certain points, the results are divided. In clinical studies, training of WM was associated with an improvement of clinical symptoms outside the laboratory. Neuroimaging studies of WM training revealed the effect of WM training on the neural systems of the fronto-parietal network, which play a key role in WM. Still, a number of important issues remain uninvestigated, and we anticipate that future studies will solve these issues.
- Attention training
- Cognitive function improvement
- Frontal lobe
- Parietal lobe
- Working memory