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Neuron. 2014 Dec 3;84(5):1091-103. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.034. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Adaptive training diminishes distractibility in aging across species.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: jyoti.mishra@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B4, Canada.
3
Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
4
Department of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA; Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: adam.gazzaley@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Aging is associated with deficits in the ability to ignore distractions, which has not yet been remediated by any neurotherapeutic approach. Here, in parallel auditory experiments with older rats and humans, we evaluated a targeted cognitive training approach that adaptively manipulated distractor challenge. Training resulted in enhanced discrimination abilities in the setting of irrelevant information in both species that was driven by selectively diminished distraction-related errors. Neural responses to distractors in auditory cortex were selectively reduced in both species, mimicking the behavioral effects. Sensory receptive fields in trained rats exhibited improved spectral and spatial selectivity. Frontal theta measures of top-down engagement with distractors were selectively restrained in trained humans. Finally, training gains generalized to group and individual level benefits in aspects of working memory and sustained attention. Thus, we demonstrate converging cross-species evidence for training-induced selective plasticity of distractor processing at multiple neural scales, benefitting distractor suppression and cognitive control.

PMID:
25467987
PMCID:
PMC4264379
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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