Reshaping the Cortical Connectivity Gradient by Long-Term Cognitive Training During Development

Tianyong Xu, Yunying Wu, Yi Zhang, Xi Nian Zuo, Feiyan Chen*, Changsong Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The organization of the brain follows a topological hierarchy that changes dynamically during development. However, it remains unknown whether and how cognitive training administered over multiple years during development can modify this hierarchical topology. By measuring the brain and behavior of school children who had carried out abacus-based mental calculation (AMC) training for five years (starting from 7 years to 12 years old) in pre-training and post-training, we revealed the reshaping effect of long-term AMC intervention during development on the brain hierarchical topology. We observed the development-induced emergence of the default network, AMC training-promoted shifting, and regional changes in cortical gradients. Moreover, the training-induced gradient changes were located in visual and somatomotor areas in association with the visuospatial/motor-imagery strategy. We found that gradient-based features can predict the math ability within groups. Our findings provide novel insights into the dynamic nature of network recruitment impacted by long-term cognitive training during development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50–64
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience Bulletin
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Abacus-based mental calculation
  • Cognitive training
  • Connectivity gradient
  • Development
  • Neural plasticity


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