Training of working memory impacts structural connectivity

Hikaru Takeuchi, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Satoru Yokoyama, Yukihito Yomogida, Nozomi Komuro, Tohru Yamanouchi, Shozo Suzuki, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

407 Citations (Scopus)


Working memory is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. Individual capacity of workingmemoryis associated with the integrity of white matter in the frontoparietal regions. It isunknown to what extent the integrity of white matter underlying the working memory system is plastic. Using voxel-based analysis (VBA) of fractional anisotropy (FA) measures of fiber tracts, we investigated the effect of workingmemorytraining on structural connectivity in an interventional study. The amount of working memory training correlated with increased FA in the white matter regions adjacent to the intraparietal sulcus and the anterior part of the body of the corpus callosum after training. These results showed training-induced plasticity in regions that are thought to be critical in working memory. As changes in myelination lead to FA changes in diffusion tensor imaging, a possible mechanism for the observed FA change is increased myelination after training. Observed structural changes may underlie previously reported improvement of working memory capacity, improvement of other cognitive functions, and altered functional activity following working memory training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3297-3303
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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