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Annotation

McNab F, Varrone A, Farde L, Jucaite A, Bystritsky P, Forssberg H, Klingberg T. Changes in cortical dopamine D1 receptor binding associated with cognitive training. Science . 2009 Feb 6 ; 323(5915):800-2. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Primary News: Cognition and Dopamine—D1 Receptors a Damper on Working Memory?

Comment by:  Michael J. Frank
Submitted 19 February 2009 Posted 19 February 2009

McNab and colleagues provide groundbreaking evidence showing that cognitive training with working memory tasks over a five-week period impacts D1 dopamine receptor availability in prefrontal cortex. Links between prefrontal D1 receptor function and working memory are often thought to be one-directional, i.e., that better D1 function supports better working memory, but here the authors show that working memory practice reciprocally affects D1 receptors.

An influential body of empirical and theoretical research suggests that an optimal level of prefrontal D1 receptor stimulation is required for working memory function (e.g., Seemans and Yang, 2004). Because acute pharmacological targeting of prefrontal D1 receptors reliably alters working memory, causal directionality from D1 to working memory remains evident. Nevertheless, these findings cast several other studies in a new light. Namely, when a population exhibits impaired (or enhanced) working memory and PET studies indicate differences in dopaminergic function, it is no longer...  Read more


View all comments by Michael J. Frank

Primary News: Cognition and Dopamine—D1 Receptors a Damper on Working Memory?

Comment by:  Terry Goldberg
Submitted 3 March 2009 Posted 3 March 2009

This is an important article that describes profound changes in the dopamine D1 receptor binding potential after working memory training in healthy male controls. The study rests on prior work that has demonstrated changes in brain volume with practice (e.g., Draganski and May, 2008), and dopamine can be released at the synapse in measurable amounts even during, dare I say, fairly trivial activities (e.g., playing a video game (Koepp et al., 1998). The present study demonstrated that binding potential of D1 receptors decreased in cortical regions (right ventrolateral frontal, right dorsolateral PFC, and posterior cortices) with training, and the magnitude of this decrease correlated with the improvement during training. Binding potential of D2 receptors in the striatum did not change. Unfortunately, D2 receptors in the cortex could not be measured with raclopride.

Two points come to mind. One is theoretical—how long would such a change remain, i.e., is it transient or is it...  Read more


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