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.

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