Working Memory and Dopamine

Science Signaling  10 Feb 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 57, pp. ec53
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.257ec53

Working memory—the ability to retain information for short periods of time—is important for a wide range of cognitive functions. Dopaminergic neurotransmission plays a central role in working memory. McNab et al. investigated whether cognitive training changes the density of cortical dopamine D1 receptors and subcortical dopamine D2 receptors. Intensive training in volunteers induced an increase in working memory capacity, which correlated with changes in D1 but not in D2 receptor binding potential. These training-induced changes indicate an unexpectedly high level of plasticity of the human cortical dopamine D1 system and emphasize the mutual interdependence of behavior and the underlying brain biochemistry.

F. McNab, A. Varrone, L. Farde, A. Jucaite, P. Bystritsky, H. Forssberg, T. Klingberg, Changes in cortical dopamine D1 receptor binding associated with cognitive training. Science 323, 800–802 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]