Cultivating an active cognitive lifestyle is arguably one of the most effective and low-risk strategies for promoting brain health and decreasing the risk of dementia. Brain Training is a highly focused type of complex mental activity well suited to clinical research, involving repeated exercise on structured problems targeting specified cognitive domains. Growing evidence suggests that Brain Training may help to augment, support and optimize cognitive function in later life.
Furthermore, imaging studies have demonstrated that courses of Brain Training induce an array of changes in the brain, including, among others, increases in the size of brain areas critical for memory and reasoning.
Yet despite scientific and public interest in brain training, the mechanisms by which Brain Training may result in enhanced cognitive function and brain health are only beginning to be understood. To investigate the therapeutic and neurobiological effects of computerized Brain Training across different intervention periods, our study asks three fundamental questions:
1. What is the minimum duration of Brain Training required to produce cognitive benefits?
2. How do different neurobiological adaptations evolve in the course of brain training?
3. Are any positive effects of brain training durable?
Temporal Evolution of Cognitive Training-induced Structural and Functional Brain Plasticity
Professor Henry Brodaty (University of NSW)
Trial Funding Source
Project Outline (Presented at the 10th National Emerging Researchers in Ageing Conference, 24-25 November 2011, the University of New South Wales, Sydney)