May 152012
 

Overview

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?

Project Information

Project Title

Temporal Evolution of Cognitive Training-induced Structural and Functional Brain Plasticity

Chief Investigators

AProf Michael Valenzuela
AProf Sharon Naismith

Associate Investigator

Professor Henry Brodaty (University of NSW)

Student Investigators

Mr Amit Lampit
Mr Chao Suo
Ms Nicola Gates
Ms Sindy Kwok
Mr Matthew Lukjanenko
Ms Alana Kohn
Mr Michael Rosser

Trial Funding Source

Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre
Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home

Outcomes

Project Outline (Presented at the 10th National Emerging Researchers in Ageing Conference, 24-25 November 2011, the University of New South Wales, Sydney)