2013-2014 Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award*

The Impact of Auditory Perception Training on Brain Activation and Connectivity in Attention Networks, Reasoning Ability, and Everyday Cognitive Function in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

VCoA*The Virginia Center on Aging which administers the Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund for the Commonwealth of Virginia, provides seed money to researchers in Virginia to stimulate innovative research into biomedical and psychosocial aspects of dementia, including cell biology, caregiving, and animal modeling.


The Impact of Auditory Perception Training on Brain Activation and Connectivity in Attention Networks, Reasoning Ability, and Everyday Cognitive Function in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Maren Strenziok, Ph.D. and Pamela Greenwood, Ph.D.

George Mason University 

Given the new evidence that cognitive training can improve general cognitive ability, there is a critical need to understand the neural mechanisms that promote transfer effects of cognitive training to everyday cognitive function in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). In the proposed study, the investigators will use auditory perception training in combination with pre- and post-training assessments of brain activation, brain connectivity, reasoning, memory, and everyday problem solving to assess an attentional mechanism that is dependent on functioning of the parietal cortex of the human brain. This attentional mechanism appears to be important for transfer of auditory perception training to general cognitive ability, including everyday problem solving and reasoning. This research is significant for its potential to reveal a critical role of parietal cortex-dependent attentional control in the transfer of training to everyday cognitive function in patients with MCI. Understanding training-related changes would advance understanding of diagnostic brain markers and target points for intervention.

(Dr. Strenziok may be contacted at 301/318-8912, mstrenzi@gmu.edu; Dr. Greenwood may be contacted at 703/993-4268, pgreenw1@gmu.edu)

 

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