|Title||Pushing the Limits: Cognitive, Affective, & Neural Plasticity Revealed by an Intensive Multifaceted Intervention|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Mrazek MD, Mooneyham BW, Mrazek KLepore, Schooler JWolf|
|Journal||Frontiers in Human Neuroscience|
Scientific understanding of how much the adult brain can be shaped by experience requires examination of how multiple influences combine to elicit cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity. Using an intensive multifaceted intervention, we discovered that substantial and enduring improvements can occur in parallel across multiple cognitive and neuroimaging measures in healthy young adults. The intervention elicited substantial improvements in physical health, working memory, standardized test performance, mood, self-esteem, self-efficacy, mindfulness, and life satisfaction. Improvements in mindfulness were associated with increased degree centrality of the insula, greater functional connectivity between insula and somatosensory cortex, and reduced functional connectivity between posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and somatosensory cortex. Improvements in working memory and reading comprehension were associated with increased degree centrality of a region within the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) that was extensively and predominately integrated with the executive control network. The scope and magnitude of the observed improvements represent the most extensive demonstration to date of the considerable human capacity for change. These findings point to higher limits for rapid and concurrent cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity than is widely assumed.