Brain training turns recall rookies into memory masters | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Brain training turns recall rookies into memory masters

Connectivity changes seen in regions related to remembrance, visual, spatial thinking

By
12:00pm, March 8, 2017
brain links

THINK LINK  Compared with novices, trained memory experts have some connections between brain areas that are stronger (red) and others that are weaker (blue). The bigger spheres highlight brain areas that have more connections specific to people with supercharged memory. 

Just six weeks of training can turn average people into memory masters.

Boosting these prodigious mnemonic skills came with overhauls in brain activity, resulting in brains that behaved more like those of experts who win World Memory Championships competitions, scientists report March 8 in Neuron.

The findings are notable because they show just how remarkably adaptable the human brain is, says neuroscientist Craig Stark of the University of California, Irvine. “The brain is plastic,” he says. “Through use, it changes.”

It’s not yet clear how long the changes in the newly trained brains last, but the memory gains persisted for four months.

In an initial matchup, a group of 17 memory experts, people who place high in World Memory Championships, throttled a group of people with average memories. Twenty minutes after seeing a list of 72 words, the experts

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content