Article: article from journal or magazin.
Temporal and spatial dynamics of brain structure changes during extensive learning.
Journal of Neuroscience
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
The current view regarding human long-term memory as an active process of encoding and retrieval includes a highly specific learning-induced functional plasticity in a network of multiple memory systems. Voxel-based morphometry was used to detect possible structural brain changes associated with learning. Magnetic resonance images were obtained at three different time points while medical students learned for their medical examination. During the learning period, the gray matter increased significantly in the posterior and lateral parietal cortex bilaterally. These structural changes did not change significantly toward the third scan during the semester break 3 months after the exam. The posterior hippocampus showed a different pattern over time: the initial increase in gray matter during the learning period was even more pronounced toward the third time point. These results indicate that the acquisition of a great amount of highly abstract information may be related to a particular pattern of structural gray matter changes in particular brain areas.
Adult, Brain/anatomy & histology, Brain/physiology, Case-Control Studies, Educational Measurement, Female, Hippocampus/anatomy & histology, Hippocampus/physiology, Humans, Learning/physiology, Longitudinal Studies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuronal Plasticity, Periaqueductal Gray/anatomy & histology, Periaqueductal Gray/physiology, Students, Medical, Time Factors
Web of science
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