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Lövdén, Martin; Bodammer, Nils Christian; Kühn, Simone; Kaufmann, Jörn; Schütze, Hartmut; Tempelmann, Claus; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Düzel, Emrah; Schmiedek, Florian; Lindenberger, Ulman:

Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age

In: Neuropsychologia, 48 (2010) 13 , 3878-3883

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Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)

Alter Mensch, Altern, Arbeitsgedächtnis, Deutschland, Erfahrung, Erwachsener, Gedächtnis, Gehirn, Hirnforschung, Kognitive Prozesse, Messung, Test, Wahrnehmung, Zeit

Experience-dependent alterations in the human brains white-matter microstructure occur in early adult-hood, but it is unknown whether such plasticity extends throughout life.We used cognitive training, diffusion- tensor imaging(DTI),and structura lMRI to investigate plasticity of the white- mattertracts that connect the left and right hemisphere of the frontallobes. Over a period of about 180days, 20 younger adults and 12 older adults trained for a total of one hundred and one -1h sessions on a set€of three working memory, three episodicmemory,and six perceptual speedtasks. Control groups were assessed at pre-and post-test. Training affected several DTI metrics and increased the area of the anterior part of the corpuscallosum. These alterations were of similar magnitude in younger and older adults. The findings indicate that experience-dependent plasticity of white- mattermicrostructure extends into old age and that disruptions of structural interhemispheric connectivity in old age, which are pronounced in aging, are modifiable by experience and amenable to treatment.

Education and Human Development