Cognitive Training + Drug Therapy = Increased Learning

The study

Recently there has been a small study1 (n=17) in which 2 groups of young adults underwent a cognitive training using three-dimensional multiple object tracking (3D-MOT) task (soon to be implemented by Train of Thought).

One group received placebo and the second a cholinergic transmission enhancer donepezil (5 mg) 3h before the training.

The results indicate improvements in both groups, but much greater in the group that received the drug during the training (see table below) in perceptual-cognitive learning.

Potential use?

Improving driving in heavy traffic or skiing on busy slopes (assuming transfer of skill)

The results support the construct that cholinergic enhancement facilitates the encoding of a highly demanding perceptual-cognitive task although there were no significant drug effects on the performance levels compared to placebo.

Chamoun M, Huppé-Gourgues F, Legault I, et al. Cholinergic Potentiation Improves Perceptual-Cognitive Training of Healthy Young Adults in Three Dimensional Multiple Object Tracking. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017;11. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00128

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