Episodic memory is the ability to learn, store and recall new information. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a crucial area engaged in this ability. Cognitive training has been demonstrated to improve episodic memory in adults and older subjects. However, there are no studies examining the effects of cognitive training on episodic memory encoding in typically developing children and adolescents. This study investigated the behavioral effects and neural correlates of semantic categorization strategy training in children and adolescents during verbal episodic memory encoding using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants with age range: 7–18 years were scanned before and after semantic categorization training during encoding of word lists. Results showed improved memory performance in adolescents, but not in children. Deactivation of the anterior medial PFC/anterior cingulate and higher activation of the right anterior and lateral orbital gyri, right frontal pole and right middle frontal gyrus activation were found after training in adolescents when compared to children. These findings suggest different maturational paths of brain regions, especially in the PFC, and deactivation of default mode network areas, which are involved in successful memory and executive processes in the developing brain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)