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Changes in Cortical Dopamine D1 Receptor Binding Associated with Cognitive Training

Science, 6 February 2009
Vol. 323, Issue 5915, p. 800-802
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166102

Changes in Cortical Dopamine D1 Receptor Binding Associated with Cognitive Training

  1. Fiona McNab1,
  2. Andrea Varrone2,
  3. Lars Farde2,3,
  4. Aurelija Jucaite2,3,
  5. Paulina Bystritsky1,
  6. Hans Forssberg1,
  7. Torkel Klingberg1,*
  1. 1 Neuropediatric Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health, Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry Section, Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  3. 3 AstraZeneca Research and Development, Södertälje, Sweden.
  1. * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: torkel.klingberg{at}


Working memory is a key function for human cognition, dependent on adequate dopamine neurotransmission. Here we show that the training of working memory, which improves working memory capacity, is associated with changes in the density of cortical dopamine D1 receptors. Fourteen hours of training over 5 weeks was associated with changes in both prefrontal and parietal D1 binding potential. This plasticity of the dopamine D1 receptor system demonstrates a reciprocal interplay between mental activity and brain biochemistry in vivo.

  • Received for publication 18 September 2008.
  • Accepted for publication 10 December 2008.


F. McNab, A. Varrone, L. Farde, A. Jucaite, P. Bystritsky, H. Forssberg, and T. Klingberg, Changes in Cortical Dopamine D1 Receptor Binding Associated with Cognitive Training. Science 323, 800-802 (2009).

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