Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The plastic brain: Better connectivity of brain regions with training

02.07.2018

Researchers at the Leibniz-Institutes für Wissensmedien (IWM) and of the Graduate School and Research Network LEAD at the University of Tübingen now found out: Short and intensive arithmetic training strengthens the neuronal connections between brain regions in adults. This neuronal plasticity through numerical learning was already detectable after only five training sessions.

No matter whether a person learns new knowledge or a new body movement – synapses, nerve cell connections and entire brain areas, i.e. the function and structure of the brain, do always change.


Fiber connections associated with the retrieval of numeric facts. Media-based training strengthened the conductivity of the fibers connected to long-term memory.

Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM)

The human brain remains “plastic” for a lifetime, i.e. it is able to change. Researchers led by Dr. Dr. Elise Klein at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) have investigated functional and structural changes of the brain as consequence of media-based numerical learning. It seems obvious that arithmetic training has an impact on our ability to calculate.

The study demonstrated this on a neuronal level: The calculation training changed the network of brain areas that was activated when solving math calculations. However, the study has now also revealed structural changes in the brain as a result of calculation training - and thus anatomical changes in the neuronal network.

The findings indicate how learning processes manifest themselves in the brain and show the potential of neurocognitive plasticity in adulthood.

The calculation training not only successfully improved the performance of the participants, the researchers from Tübingen also succeeded in determining how this learning process takes place on a neuronal level. In a previous study, they had already observed that training increases functional activation in brain areas associated with the retrieval of arithmetic facts from long-term memory (e.g. hippocampus). By using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers have now been able to show that the training also strengthened the structural connection between these areas which led to a successful learning process. "The neuronal plasticity following media-based training was already evident after only five training units," says Elise Klein from the IWM.

"This change at the neuronal level indicates that even short cognitive training sessions can induce plastic processes in the brain. The selectivity of the neurostructural changes, in turn, gives insight into the processing of arithmetical facts in the brain." The findings not only indicate how learning processes manifest themselves in the brain, but also show the potential of neurocognitive plasticity in adulthood.

Korbinian Moeller, head of the Junior Research Group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity, comments on the results of the study: “The study improves our understanding of the neuronal foundations of numerical learning and of the possibilities of neuronal reorganisation in the brain. The results can be used to develop interventions for children with learning disabilities and for patients with arithmetic difficulties after brain damage.”

Results of the study have been published in the renowned journal “Cortex”.

More Information:
Dr. Dr. Elise Klein
NG Neuro-cognitive Plasticity
Phone: +49 7071 979-205
Email: e.klein@iwm-tuebingen.de
Press:
Mira Keßler
Press Department
Phone: +49 (0) 7071 979-222
Email: presse@iwm-tuebingen.de

Since April 2015, Elise Klein has been working at the IWM in the junior research lab Neuro-cognitive Plasticity within the Wrangell Habilitation Programme. The researchers of the lab are particularly interested in the neural foundations of knowledge acquisition and knowledge application. The topical focus of the junior research group is on numerical cognition with particular interest being paid to the neural correlates of number processing as well as its development during childhood.

Weitere Informationen:

Study: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.05.017

Mira Keßler M.A. | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.iwm-tuebingen.de

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

Im Focus: Graphene sets the stage for the next generation of THz astronomy detectors

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a detector made from graphene that could revolutionize the sensors used in next-generation space telescopes. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.

Beyond superconductors, there are few materials that can fulfill the requirements needed for making ultra-sensitive and fast terahertz (THz) detectors for...

Im Focus: Physicists from Stuttgart prove the existence of a supersolid state of matte

A supersolid is a state of matter that can be described in simplified terms as being solid and liquid at the same time. In recent years, extensive efforts have been devoted to the detection of this exotic quantum matter. A research team led by Tilman Pfau and Tim Langen at the 5th Institute of Physics of the University of Stuttgart has succeeded in proving experimentally that the long-sought supersolid state of matter exists. The researchers report their results in Nature magazine.

In our everyday lives, we are familiar with matter existing in three different states: solid, liquid, or gas. However, if matter is cooled down to extremely...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

AI for Laser Technology Conference: optimizing the use of lasers with artificial intelligence

29.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Too much of a good thing: overactive immune cells trigger inflammation

16.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Scientists create a nanomaterial that is both twisted and untwisted at the same time

16.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

Researchers have identified areas of the retina that change in mild Alzheimer's disease

16.09.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>