Cognitive training effects on processing speed–related neural activity

on 01 August 2019
tiem to have fun

If you want to sharpen your brain, speak with more clarity, have more certainty in your life and just function better, then it's time to sharpen up your language! It's really hard to sharpen your mind with blunt ineffective language, hypnotherapy will help you make life more enjoyable and, you may live longer too . . . . 

With the likelihood of living longer than ever looming in the future, all the more we should be thinking of how to preserve our marbles! So, while this study is exciting and offers some new, nonpharmacological options to do so, we need to find something in the here and now that can help us keep sharp and stay focused longer. So, naturally, I am going to recommend the Trans4mational Therapy Centre, right here in Singapore. Why you may ask? Well, it's because I have been focusing on cleaning the vague and ambiguous language patterns displayed by almost every client I see. Essentially humans talk in riddles. Ask them a question and they'll very of start with "I think" . . . Which basically means, I don't know, for sure, sometimes they don't and sometimes they do. However, when they say I think but don't know, it is usually said in the context that they do know, sort of making it look like they are giving you a real answer. On the occasions when they do know, there is really no need to say "I think" since they clearly know, although they may have doubts, especially if they lack confidence in their ability etc? The point though is that there is a level of ambiguity, vagueness and disclarity in their outward language which also means there is the same at deeper inner levels of language. You cannot have clarity of mind with a disclarity of language, simply because we think the same way as we talk! After all, our spoken (surface structure) language is a filtered level of our inner (deep structure) language, which basically means that what comes out of our mouth also reenters our ears. So, even if there is more clarity in our deep structure language, our surface structure verbalisations merely add some level of confusion once what we say is reprocessed.

Once we clean up our language, speak with clarity, certainty and purposefully, it becomes easier to to be more focused and brain function will improve, this becomes obvious as the way we live our life becomes easier, we have less problems, we make fewer mistakes and, obviously we are more relaxed, that means we are less stressed; to those who still think in the negative!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

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The Research:

Relentless cognitive decline as we age is worrisome, and it is widely thought to be an unavoidable negative aspect of normal ageing. Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, however, say their research could provide new hope for extending our brain function as we age.

In a randomized clinical study involving adults age 56 to 71 that recently published in Neurobiology of Aging, researchers found that after cognitive training, participants' brains were more energy-efficient, meaning their brain did not have to work as hard to perform a task.

Dr Michael Motes, a senior research scientist at the Center for Brain Health and one of the lead authors of the study, said, "Finding a nonpharmacological intervention that can help the ageing brain to perform like a younger brain is a welcome finding that potentially advances understanding of ways to enhance brain health and longevity. It is thrilling for me as a cognitive neuroscientist, who has previously studied age-related cognitive decline, to find that cognitive training has the potential to strengthen the ageing brain to function more like a younger brain."

To investigate changes in brain efficiency, the research team studied neural activity while the participant performed a task. For the study, 57 cognitively normal older adults were randomly assigned to a cognitive training group, a wait-listed control group, or physical exercise control group. The cognitive training utilized the Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) program developed at the Center for BrainHealth.

Cognitive training strategies included how to focus on the most relevant information and filter out the less relevant; ways to continually synthesize information encountered in daily life to encourage deeper thinking; and how to inspire innovative thinking through generating diverse interpretations, solutions and perspectives. Because aerobic exercise has been shown to lead to improvements in processing speed and functional changes within the frontal and other brain regions, it was included as one of the study groups.

The cognitive training was conducted over the course of 12 weeks. Participants in the active control physical exercise program exceeded physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes per week for the 12 weeks.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), an imaging technique that measures brain activity, researchers examined all three groups at the beginning (baseline), middle, and end of the study while participants performed computer-based speed tasks in the scanner.

The fMRI results provided evidence that cognitive training improved speed-related neural activity. While all groups showed faster reaction times across sessions, the cognitive training group showed a significant increase in the association between reaction time and frontal lobe activity. After training, faster reaction times were associated with lower frontal lobe activity, which is consistent with the more energy-efficient neural activity found in younger adults.

In contrast to the cognitive training group, the wait-listed and physical exercise groups showed significant decreases across sessions in the association between reaction time and frontal lobe activation.

"This discovery of neural efficiency profiles found in the SMART-trained older adults is promising," said Dr Sandra Bond Chapman, one of the lead authors, Center for BrainHealth founder and chief director. "If replicated, this work paves the way for larger clinical trials to test the ability to harness the potential of the ageing mind and its ability to excel -- by working like a younger brain with all the rich knowledge and expertise accrued over time. To counteract the pattern of age-related losses and even enhance the brain's inner workings by 'thinking' in smarter ways is an achievable and highly desirable goal."

Story Source:

Materials provided by the Center for BrainHealthNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Michael A. Motes, Uma S. Yezhuvath, Sina Aslan, Jeffrey S. Spence, Bart Rypma, Sandra B. Chapman. Higher-order cognitive training effects on processing speed–related neural activity: a randomized trialNeurobiology of Aging, 2018; 62: 72 DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.10.003

Cite This Page:

Center for BrainHealth. "Cognitive training helps regain a younger-working brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2018. <>.