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Abstract #0352

Effects of working memory training on cognition and white matter microstructure: Does brain training work?

Claudia Metzler-Baddeley 1 , Karen Caeyenberghs 2 , Sonya Foley 3 , and Derek K Jones 3

1 CUBRIC, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 2 University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, 3 CUBRIC, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom

Brain trainings are popular and used by many to improve mental capacity and combat age-related decline. However, the evidence for training benefits on brain structure remains limited and controversial. This research investigated the effects of a 2 months working memory training on microstructure in white matter pathways mediating cognitive control (the superior longitudinal fasciculus, the arcuate and the cingulum). Relative to an active placebo condition, training led to improvements in working memory span capacity, which were related to alterations in white matter microstructure in the cingulum and the arcuate and were dependent on inter-individual differences in baseline microstructural properties.

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