Working memory updating training promotes neural plasticity & behavioural gains: a systematic review & meta-analysis

Pappa, K. , Biswas, V. , Flegal, K. , Evans, J. and Baylan, S. (2020) Working memory updating training promotes neural plasticity & behavioural gains: a systematic review & meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 118, pp. 209-235. (doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.07.027) (PMID:32738262)

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Abstract

Aims: Recent reviews yield contradictory findings regarding the efficacy of working memory training and transfer to untrained tasks. We reviewed working memory updating (WMU) training studies and examined cognitive and neural outcomes on training and transfer tasks. Methods: Database searches for adult brain imaging studies of WMU training were conducted. Training-induced neural changes were assessed qualitatively, and meta-analyses were performed on behavioural training and transfer effects. Results: A large behavioural training effect was found for WMU training groups compared to control groups. There was a moderate near transfer effect on tasks in the same cognitive domain, and a non-significant effect for far transfer to other cognitive domains. Functional neuroimaging changes for WMU training tasks revealed consistent frontoparietal activity decreases while both decreases and increases were found for subcortical regions. Conclusions: WMU training promotes plasticity and has potential applications in optimizing interventions for neurological populations. Future research should focus on the mechanisms and factors underlying plasticity and generalisation of training gains.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flegal, Dr Kristin and Evans, Professor Jonathan and Baylan, Dr Satu and Pappa, Katerina and Biswas, Dr Viveka
Authors: Pappa, K., Biswas, V., Flegal, K., Evans, J., and Baylan, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0149-7634
ISSN (Online):1873-7528
Published Online:30 July 2020

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