Document Detail

Transfer of cognitive training across magnitude dimensions achieved with concurrent brain stimulation of the parietal lobe.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24027289     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Improvement in performance following cognitive training is known to be further enhanced when coupled with brain stimulation. Here we ask whether training-induced changes can be maintained long term and, crucially, whether they can extend to other related but untrained skills. We trained overall 40 human participants on a simple and well established paradigm assessing the ability to discriminate numerosity--or the number of items in a set--which is thought to rely on an "approximate number sense" (ANS) associated with parietal lobes. We coupled training with parietal stimulation in the form of transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), a noninvasive technique that modulates neural activity. This yielded significantly better and longer lasting improvement (up to 16 weeks post-training) of the precision of the ANS compared with cognitive training in absence of stimulation, stimulation in absence of cognitive training, and cognitive training coupled to stimulation to a control site (motor areas). Critically, only ANS improvement induced by parietal tRNS + Training transferred to proficiency in other parietal lobe-based quantity judgment, i.e., time and space discrimination, but not to quantity-unrelated tasks measuring attention, executive functions, and visual pattern recognition. These results indicate that coupling intensive cognitive training with tRNS to critical brain regions resulted not only in the greatest and longer lasting improvement of numerosity discrimination, but importantly in this enhancement being transferable when trained and untrained abilities are carefully chosen to share common cognitive and neuronal components.
Marinella Cappelletti; Erica Gessaroli; Rosalyn Hithersay; Micaela Mitolo; Daniele Didino; Ryota Kanai; Roi Cohen Kadosh; Vincent Walsh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  33     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2013 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-09-12     Completed Date:  2013-12-02     Revised Date:  2014-03-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14899-907     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology
Choice Behavior
Cognition / physiology*
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology
Double-Blind Method
Executive Function / physiology
Memory / physiology
Neuropsychological Tests
Parietal Lobe / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
Photic Stimulation
Time Factors
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
Transfer (Psychology) / physiology*
Young Adult
Grant Support
WT88378//Wellcome Trust
Comment In:
J Neurosci. 2014 Jan 29;34(5):1567-9   [PMID:  24478340 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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