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Presented By: Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience

CCN Forum: Enhancing Neuroplasticity in Aging using Cognitive Training and Neuromodulation

Dr. Alex Iordan, Assistant Research Scientist working with Dr. Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz

Alex Iordan Alex Iordan
Alex Iordan
Abstract:
Cognitive performance depends on the brain’s ability to recruit neural circuits specialized for the execution of the task at hand. This ability decreases with physiological aging and is further impacted by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and its clinical precursor, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Can we harness the brain’s plasticity to mitigate this functional decline? In this talk, I will present novel evidence for training and neuromodulation-induced plasticity in “normal” and pathological aging. First, I will examine how cognitive training improves working memory (WM) in cognitively intact older adults. I will show that WM training can change brain activity in a direction consistent with improved neural efficiency while preserving the older adults’ more integrated and overall costly functional architecture compared to younger adults. Second, I will examine how neuromodulation alters functional network architecture in MCI. I will show that high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation can increase the functional distinctiveness of task-relevant networks in patients with MCI, elevating it to levels similar to those of healthy controls. I will conclude by presenting future research directions aimed to investigate regional and global mechanisms of neural plasticity induced by cognitive training and neuromodulation in MCI. Clarification of these mechanisms will be critically helpful for predicting the risk of progression from MCI to dementia and for tailoring remedial interventions in MCI.
Alex Iordan Alex Iordan
Alex Iordan

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January 21, 2022 (Friday) 2:00pm
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