Cognitive learning is associated with gray matter changes in healthy human individuals: A tensor-based morphometry study

Antonia Ceccarelli, Maria Assunta Rocca, Elisabetta Pagani, Andrea Falini, Giancarlo Comi, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Longitudinal voxel-based morphometry studies have demonstrated morphological changes in cortical structures following motor and cognitive learning. In this study, we applied, for the first time, tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to assess the short-term structural brain gray matter (GM) changes associated with cognitive learning in healthy subjects. Using a 3 T scanner, a 3D T1-weighted sequence was acquired from 32 students at baseline and after two weeks. Students were separated into two groups: 13 defined as "students in cognitive training", who underwent a two-week cognitive learning period, and 19 "students not in cognitive training", who were not involved in any teaching activity. GM changes were assessed using TBM and statistical parametric mapping. Baseline regional GM volume did not differ between the two groups. At follow up, compared to "students not in cognitive training", the "students in cognitive training" had a significant GM volume increase in the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the precuneus (p <0.001). These results suggest that cognitive learning results in short-term structural GM changes of neuronal networks of the human brain, which are known to be involved in cognition. This may have important implications for the development of rehabilitation strategies in patients with neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-589
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroImage
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2009

Fingerprint

Learning
Students
Parietal Lobe
Brain
Frontal Lobe
Prefrontal Cortex
Cognition
Gray Matter
Healthy Volunteers
Teaching
Rehabilitation

Keywords

  • Cognitive learning
  • Gray matter changes
  • Healthy individuals
  • Longitudinal study
  • Plasticity
  • Tensor-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Cognitive learning is associated with gray matter changes in healthy human individuals : A tensor-based morphometry study. / Ceccarelli, Antonia; Rocca, Maria Assunta; Pagani, Elisabetta; Falini, Andrea; Comi, Giancarlo; Filippi, Massimo.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 48, No. 3, 15.11.2009, p. 585-589.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d24f9a6d0efd4d2c8ff5cd0502be122d,
title = "Cognitive learning is associated with gray matter changes in healthy human individuals: A tensor-based morphometry study",
abstract = "Longitudinal voxel-based morphometry studies have demonstrated morphological changes in cortical structures following motor and cognitive learning. In this study, we applied, for the first time, tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to assess the short-term structural brain gray matter (GM) changes associated with cognitive learning in healthy subjects. Using a 3 T scanner, a 3D T1-weighted sequence was acquired from 32 students at baseline and after two weeks. Students were separated into two groups: 13 defined as {"}students in cognitive training{"}, who underwent a two-week cognitive learning period, and 19 {"}students not in cognitive training{"}, who were not involved in any teaching activity. GM changes were assessed using TBM and statistical parametric mapping. Baseline regional GM volume did not differ between the two groups. At follow up, compared to {"}students not in cognitive training{"}, the {"}students in cognitive training{"} had a significant GM volume increase in the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the precuneus (p <0.001). These results suggest that cognitive learning results in short-term structural GM changes of neuronal networks of the human brain, which are known to be involved in cognition. This may have important implications for the development of rehabilitation strategies in patients with neurological diseases.",
keywords = "Cognitive learning, Gray matter changes, Healthy individuals, Longitudinal study, Plasticity, Tensor-based morphometry",
author = "Antonia Ceccarelli and Rocca, {Maria Assunta} and Elisabetta Pagani and Andrea Falini and Giancarlo Comi and Massimo Filippi",
year = "2009",
month = "11",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.07.009",
language = "English",
volume = "48",
pages = "585--589",
journal = "NeuroImage",
issn = "1053-8119",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cognitive learning is associated with gray matter changes in healthy human individuals

T2 - A tensor-based morphometry study

AU - Ceccarelli, Antonia

AU - Rocca, Maria Assunta

AU - Pagani, Elisabetta

AU - Falini, Andrea

AU - Comi, Giancarlo

AU - Filippi, Massimo

PY - 2009/11/15

Y1 - 2009/11/15

N2 - Longitudinal voxel-based morphometry studies have demonstrated morphological changes in cortical structures following motor and cognitive learning. In this study, we applied, for the first time, tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to assess the short-term structural brain gray matter (GM) changes associated with cognitive learning in healthy subjects. Using a 3 T scanner, a 3D T1-weighted sequence was acquired from 32 students at baseline and after two weeks. Students were separated into two groups: 13 defined as "students in cognitive training", who underwent a two-week cognitive learning period, and 19 "students not in cognitive training", who were not involved in any teaching activity. GM changes were assessed using TBM and statistical parametric mapping. Baseline regional GM volume did not differ between the two groups. At follow up, compared to "students not in cognitive training", the "students in cognitive training" had a significant GM volume increase in the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the precuneus (p <0.001). These results suggest that cognitive learning results in short-term structural GM changes of neuronal networks of the human brain, which are known to be involved in cognition. This may have important implications for the development of rehabilitation strategies in patients with neurological diseases.

AB - Longitudinal voxel-based morphometry studies have demonstrated morphological changes in cortical structures following motor and cognitive learning. In this study, we applied, for the first time, tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to assess the short-term structural brain gray matter (GM) changes associated with cognitive learning in healthy subjects. Using a 3 T scanner, a 3D T1-weighted sequence was acquired from 32 students at baseline and after two weeks. Students were separated into two groups: 13 defined as "students in cognitive training", who underwent a two-week cognitive learning period, and 19 "students not in cognitive training", who were not involved in any teaching activity. GM changes were assessed using TBM and statistical parametric mapping. Baseline regional GM volume did not differ between the two groups. At follow up, compared to "students not in cognitive training", the "students in cognitive training" had a significant GM volume increase in the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the precuneus (p <0.001). These results suggest that cognitive learning results in short-term structural GM changes of neuronal networks of the human brain, which are known to be involved in cognition. This may have important implications for the development of rehabilitation strategies in patients with neurological diseases.

KW - Cognitive learning

KW - Gray matter changes

KW - Healthy individuals

KW - Longitudinal study

KW - Plasticity

KW - Tensor-based morphometry

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69249205428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=69249205428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.07.009

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.07.009

M3 - Article

C2 - 19615452

AN - SCOPUS:69249205428

VL - 48

SP - 585

EP - 589

JO - NeuroImage

JF - NeuroImage

SN - 1053-8119

IS - 3

ER -