Doctoral School / UAM

The cerebral cortex changes with cognitive training

Cerebral Cortex
An international research project coordinated by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has revealed that the brain changes physically in response to a cognitive training programme.

The results, published in the journal Brain Structure and Function, reveal that individuals with a lower capacity benefited most.

A research project coordinated by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), with the participation of scientists from the Complutense University, Pompeu Fabra University, the Montreal Neurological Institute (Canada) and the University of California (USA), analysed the psychological and biological consequences of adapted cognitive training.

Using training sessions designed to stimulate the cognitive processes involved in short-term memory, the scientists observed contingent changes in the physical structure of the brain. Specifically, they recorded a significant increase in the surface area and the thickness of the cerebral cortex in certain regions of the frontal and temporal lobes.

In accordance with the study, published in Brain Structure and Function, the regions where these changes were noted support the psychological processes needed to successfully complete the training sessions: short-term memory and resistance to interference and inhibition.

In addition, the researchers found that the individuals with a lower cognitive capacity benefited to a greater extent from the training, as their brains responded with greater intensity. In contrast, the brains of individuals with a greater cognitive capacity responded weakly to the training.

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