Increased dopamine release after working-memory updating training: Neurochemical correlates of transfer

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Lars Bäckman, Otto Waris, Jarkko Johansson, Micael Andersson, Juha O. Rinne, Kati Alakurtti, Anna Soveri, Matti Laine, Lars Nyberg
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Scientific Reports
Volume number: 7


Previous work demonstrates that working-memory (WM) updating training results in improved
performance on a letter-memory criterion task, transfers to an untrained n-back task, and increases
striatal dopamine (DA) activity during the criterion task. Here, we sought to replicate and extend these
findings by also examining neurochemical correlates of transfer. Four positron emission tomography
(PET) scans using the radioligand raclopride were performed. Two of these assessed DAD2 binding
(letter memory; n-back) before 5 weeks of updating training, and the same two scans were performed
post training. Key findings were (a) pronounced training-related behavioral gains in the lettermemory
criterion task, (b) altered striatal DAD2 binding potential after training during letter-memory
performance, suggesting training-induced increases in DA release, and (c) increased striatal DA activity
also during the n-back transfer task after the intervention, but no concomitant behavioral transfer.
The fact that the training-related DA alterations during the transfer task were not accompanied by
behavioral transfer suggests that increased DA release may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition
for behavioral transfer to occur.

Last updated on 2020-05-07 at 04:25