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  • 1.
    Backman, Lars
    et al.
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institute and University of Stockholm, Stockholm,.
    Nyberg, Lars
    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).
    Dopamine and training-related working-memory improvement2013In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 37, no 9, p. 2209-2219Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2. Bäckman, Lars
    et al.
    Lindenberger, Ulman
    Li, Shu-Chen
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Linking cognitive aging to alterations in dopamine neurotransmitter functioning: Recent data and future avenues2010In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 670-677Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Molecular-imaging studies of dopaminergic neurotransmission measure biomarkers of dopamine (DA), such as the DA transporter and D(1) and D(2) receptor densities in the living brain. These studies indicate that individual differences in DA functions are linked to cognitive performance irrespective of age, and serve as powerful mediators of age-related decline in executive functioning, episodic memory, and perceptual speed. This focused review targets several recent findings pertaining to these relationships. Specifically, we discuss novel evidence concerning (a) the role of DA in within-person cognitive variability; (b) age-related differences in DA release during cognitive processing; (c) DA release following cognitive training in younger and older adults; and (d) the relationship between DA and task-induced functional brain activity. Based on these lines of empirical inquiry, we outline a series of avenues for future research on aging, DA, and cognition.

  • 3. Salmi, Juha
    et al.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI).
    Laine, Matti
    Working memory training mostly engages general-purpose large-scale networks for learning2018In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 93, p. 108-122Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present meta-analytic study examined brain activation changes following working memory (WM) training, a form of cognitive training that has attracted considerable interest. Comparisons with perceptual-motor (PM) learning revealed that WM training engages domain-general large-scale networks for learning encompassing the dorsal attention and salience networks, sensory areas, and striatum. Also the dynamics of the training-induced brain activation changes within these networks showed a high overlap between WM and PM training. The distinguishing feature for WM training was the consistent modulation of the dorso- and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) activity. The strongest candidate for mediating transfer to similar untrained WM tasks was the frontostriatal system, showing higher striatal and VLPFC activations, and lower DLPFC activations after training. Modulation of transfer-related areas occurred mostly with longer training periods. Overall, our findings place WM training effects into a general perception-action cycle, where some modulations may depend on the specific cognitive demands of a training task.

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