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Dopamine and training-related working-memory improvement
Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institute and University of Stockholm, Stockholm,.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
2013 (English)In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 37, no 9, 2209-2219 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Converging evidence indicates that the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is implicated in working-memory (WM) functioning and that WM is trainable. We review recent work suggesting that DA is critically involved in the ability to benefit from WM interventions. Functional MRI studies reveal increased striatal BOLD activity following certain forms of WM interventions, such as updating training. Increased striatal BOLD activity has also been linked to transfer of learning to non-trained WM tasks, suggesting a neural signature of transfer. The striatal BOLD signal is partly determined by DA activity. Consistent with this assertion, PET research demonstrates increased striatal DA release during updating of information in WM after training. Genetic studies indicate larger increases in WM performance post training for those who carry advantageous alleles of DA-relevant genes. These patterns of results corroborate the role of DA in WM improvement. Future research avenues include: (a) neuromodulatory correlates of transfer; (b) the potential of WM training to enhance DA release in older adults; (c) comparisons among different WM processes (i.e., updating, switching, inhibition) regarding regional patterns of training-related DA release; and (d) gene-gene interactions in relation to training-related WM gains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 37, no 9, 2209-2219 p.
Keyword [en]
Dopamine, Training, Working memory, fMRI, PET, Genes
National Category
Psychology Neurology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86080DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.01.014ISI: 000329884000012OAI: diva2:697219
Swedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2014-02-17 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2014-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Nyberg, Lars
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Diagnostic RadiologyUmeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI)Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB)
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