Working memory training mostly engages general-purpose large-scale networks for learning

A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Salmi J, Nyberg L, Laine M
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Journal acronym: NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV R
Volume number: 93
Start page: 108
End page: 122
Number of pages: 15
ISSN: 0149-7634


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.


cognitive training, Executive function, fMAI, working memory

Last updated on 2020-06-07 at 04:17