Connectivity changes seen in regions related to remembrance, visual, spatial thinking
M. Dresler et al/Neuron 2017
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