Evidence-based adaptive brain training in seniors: Effects of brain structure and dopaminergic system on individual differences in trainability.
12 / 2010 - 11 / 2014
The project will investigate the following research questions: 1. Can certain negative effects of age on cognitive ability be reduced with appropriate training? Brain training has seen a tremendous rise in the past decade. Yet, the general effects of the type of exercises that are typically offered on cognitive health are probably very small. In this project, the focus will therefore be on two areas of training in which previous research indicates that more general effects can be expected: cognitive control and memory strategies. 2. What is the role of individual differences in the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the effects of training? and 3. How can we elucidate the neural and cognitive mechanisms using covariance-based functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and model-based adaptive training of cognitive functions? Older adults differ as much from each other as they differ from young adults. These individual differences are typically reflected in error variance, working against interpretable research outcomes. Covariance-based fMRI, by contrast, capitalizes on individual differences, utilizing them to establish the extent to which brain structures covary in their activation with the efficiency of specific cognitive processes. Combined DTI and covariance-based fMRI techniques will allow us to address the hitherto overpowering problem of heterogeneity among older adults.