Very Early Brain Damage Leads to Remodeling of the Working Memory System in Adulthood: A Combined fMRI/Tractography Study


Children who have brain injury following preterm birth often have working memory problems. When we assessed adults with the same injury, we found they no longer had severe working memory difficulties. By combining techniques to investigate the structural connections in the brain, and the brain activity during a working memory task, we were able to show that these people successfully compensate for damage to the brain structures that normally contribute to working memory by engaging other parts of the brain that normally have distinct functions. This is the first evidence of compensatory plasticity in the working memory network in people who were born preterm.

The Journal of Neuroscience