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Abstract #3509

Opposing effects on parieto-frontal white matter plasticity after demanding and undemanding working memory training: A multimodal MRI approach.

Claudia Metzler-Baddeley 1 , Sonya Foley 2 , Karen Caeyenberghs 3 , and Derek K Jones 2

1 CUBRIC, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, 2 Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom, 3 Gent University, Gent, Belgium

The mechanisms underlying brain plasticity remain unknown. We studied for the first time the effects of working memory training on plasticity in multiple MRI modalities of white matter microstructure. Demanding training led to increased axonal density and undemanding training to decreased axonal density in right parieto-frontal fibers. Training-induced cognitive improvements were related to increases in myelin water fraction. These results are the first demonstrations of opposing changes in measures of axonal density and myelin after varying training demands, suggesting that the intensity and nature of daily activities may critically shape an individuals cognitive capacities and underpinning brain infrastructure.

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