New Article on the Neural Mechanisms of Cognitive Transfer

Today, a new research article featuring Cogmed is online and open-access in Cerebral Cortex. The title is “Strengthening of alpha synchronization is a neural correlate of cognitive transfer.”, and it was authored by Julia Ericson, Satu Palva, Matias Palva, and Torkel Klingberg.

The question asked by the research team was: what is the neural mechanism that could explain how training on one task can transfer to improvement on another, non-trained, cognitive task?

To answer this, the researchers used a high-precision approach. Each subject was scanned with a MEG-scanner 7 times over eight weeks of working memory training. Brain data from each subject was analyzed separately rather than averaged into a group analysis.

The most consistent finding was that training strengthened connectivity between brain regions in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. These areas are part of a known network called “the dorsal attention network.” Importantly, strengthening of the same connections was found both for the trained and transfer tasks, but not in a control task.

This finding aligns with research showing that the connectivity between networks of cortical regions is critical for cognitive capacity. This article extends that research by showing that this connectivity can be affected, and that it could mediate transfer.   

Click here to read the full article.

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