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Increased prefrontal and parietal activity after training of working memory.

Working memory capacity has traditionally been thought to be constant. Recent studies, however, suggest that working memory can be improved by training. In this study, we have investigated the changes in brain activity that are induced by working memory training. Two experiments were carried out in which healthy, adult human subjects practiced working memory tasks for 5 weeks. Brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before, during and after training. After training, brain activity that was related to working memory increased in the middle frontal gyrus and superior and inferior parietal cortices. The changes in cortical activity could be evidence of training-induced plasticity in the neural systems that underlie working memory.

Pubmed ID: 14699419


  • Olesen PJ
  • Westerberg H
  • Klingberg T


Nature neuroscience

Publication Data

January 30, 2004

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Reaction Time