Osaka, M., Otsuka, Y., & Osaka, N.
Verbal to visual code switching improves working memory in the elderly:
An fMRI study.
Frontiers of Human Neuroscience
The effect of verbal to visual code switching training on working memory
performance was investigated in individuals aged 63 and older. During
verbal working memory task performance, the training group (n = 25) was
introduced to a verbal to visual code switching strategy while the
control group (n = 25) was not exposed to such a strategy. Working
memory recognition accuracy was enhanced only in the training group. To
explore the neural substrates underlying these strategy effects, fMRI
was used to measure brain activity in both groups during working memory
task performance before and after an attention training period. In a
comparison between pre- and post-training sessions, results showed
increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Relative to
the control group, the post-training group exhibited increased
activation in the left and right inferior parietal lobules (IPLs) and
right superior parietal lobule (SPL). These findings suggest that use of
a verbal to visual code switching strategy may assist older individuals
in the maintenance of information in working memory.