Torkel Klingberg

Torkel Klingberg
Karolinska Institutet | KI · Department of Neuroscience

Professor

About

129
Publications
56,470
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
17,167
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 1998 - March 2000
Stanford Medicine
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 1996 - present
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (129)
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract Importance Digital media takes an increasingly large part of children’s time, but the effect on brain development is unclear. Objective To investigate the effects of digital media (watching television and videos, using social media, or playing video games respectively) on the development of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum over two ye...
Chapter
Cognitive training aims to improve skills such as working memory capacity and spatial ability, which have been linked to math skills. In this study, we fit Deep Knowledge Tracing with Transformers (DKTT), Dynamic Key-Value Memory Networks (DKVMN), and Knowledge Tracing Machines (KTM) to a large dataset from a cognitive training system. DKVMN achiev...
Article
Full-text available
Digital media defines modern childhood, but its cognitive effects are unclear and hotly debated. We believe that studies with genetic data could clarify causal claims and correct for the typically unaccounted role of genetic predispositions. Here, we estimated the impact of different types of screen time (watching, socializing, or gaming) on childr...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and mathematical abilities are strongly associated. Here, we analysed data from 17,648 children, aged 6–8 years, who performed 7 weeks of mathematical training together with randomly assigned spatial cognitive training with tasks demanding more spatial manipulation (mental rotation or tangram), maintenance of spatial information (a visuospa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Digital media defines modern childhood, but its cognitive effects are unclear and hotly debated. We estimated the impact of different types of screen time (watching, socializing, or gaming) on children’s intelligence while controlling for genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic background. We analyzed 9855 children from the ABCD dataset...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we experimentally evaluate a cognitive training tool that aims to improve children's mathematical ability through the use of technology in rural primary schools in Argentina. We conducted a large cluster randomized trial: schools in the treatment group used an app to train mathematical skills, while those in the control group receive...
Preprint
Full-text available
Schooling, socioeconomic status (SES), and genetics all play large roles in intelligence differences. However, it is unclear to what extent their contributions are unique and if they interact. Here we used a multitrait polygenic score for cognition (cog-PGS) with a quasi-experimental regression discontinuity design to isolate how months of schoolin...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial cognitive abilities, including mental rotation (MR) and visuo-spatial working memory (vsWM) are correlated with mathematical performance, and several studies have shown that training of these abilities can enhance mathematical performance. Here, we investigated the behavioral and neural correlates of MR and vsWM training combined with numbe...
Article
Full-text available
The interplay of genetic and environmental factors behind cognitive development has preoccupied multiple fields of science and sparked heated debates over the decades. Here we tested the hypothesis that developmental genes rely heavily on cognitive challenges—as opposed to natural maturation. Starting with a polygenic score (cogPGS) that previously...
Article
Full-text available
Classically, neuropsychological evaluation only estimates an individual’s performance at one time point. For example, working memory (WM) capacity is commonly determined in a single test session. However, recent research in WM plasticity and variability has suggested performance over several sessions/days might aid in evaluating children. Here, we...
Preprint
Spatial and mathematical abilities are strongly associated. Here we analyzed data from 17,648 children, aged 6-8 years, who performed 7 weeks of mathematical training together with randomly assigned, spatial cognitive training with tasks demanding more spatial manipulation (mental rotation or tangram), maintenance of spatial information (a visuo-sp...
Article
Genetic factors and socioeconomic status (SES) inequalities play a large role in educational attainment, and both have been associated with variations in brain structure and cognition. However, genetics and SES are correlated, and no prior study has assessed their neural associations independently. Here we used a polygenic score for educational att...
Preprint
Full-text available
Genetic factors and socioeconomic (SES) inequalities play a large role in educational attainment, and both have been associated with variations in brain structure and cognition. However, genetics and SES are correlated, and no prior study has assessed their neural associations independently. Here we used polygenic score for educational attainment (...
Article
The striatum has long been associated with cognitive functions, but the mechanisms behind this are still unclear. Here we tested a new hypothesis that the striatum contributes to executive function (EF) by strengthening cortico-cortical connections. Striatal connectivity was evaluated by measuring the resting-state functional connectivity between v...
Article
Full-text available
There is substantial interest in the possibility that cognitive skills can be improved by dedicated behavioral training. Yet despite the large amount of work being conducted in this domain, there is not an explicit and widely agreed upon consensus around the best methodological practices. This document seeks to fill this gap. We start from the pers...
Article
There is substantial interest in the possibility that cognitive skills can be improved by dedicated behavioral training. Yet despite the large amount of work being conducted in this domain, there is not an explicit and widely agreed upon consensus around the best methodological practices. This document seeks to fill this gap. We start from the pers...
Article
Full-text available
Background Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with cognitive deficits such as impaired executive functions, which are hypothesized to contribute to the progression of the disease and worsen treatment outcome. Training of working memory (WM) to improve cognitive functions and thereby reduce alcohol use has been proposed as a novel treatment st...
Article
Full-text available
The adult brain contains cortical areas thought to be specialized for the analysis of numbers (the putative number form area, NFA) and letters (the visual word form area, VWFA). Although functional development of the VWFA has been investigated, it is largely unknown when and how the NFA becomes specialized and connected to the rest of the brain. On...
Article
Full-text available
Using a randomized placebo controlled design, we examined the direct and follow-up effects (at 6 and 12 months) of a mathematics tablet intervention. Math training focused primarily on basic arithmetic (addition and subtraction facts up to 12), and secondarily on number knowledge and word problems. We investigated the moderating effects of IQ and s...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with largely unknown etiology. Rare copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated in the genetic architecture of other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) which have led to clinical genetic testing recommendations for these disorders; however, the evidence is still lac...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable inter-individual variability in the rate at which working memory (WM) develops during childhood and adolescence, but the neural and genetic basis for these differences are poorly understood. Dopamine-related genes, striatal activation and morphology have been associated with increased WM capacity after training. Here we tested...
Article
Most cortical areas send projections to the striatum. In some parts of the striatum, the connections converge from several cortical areas. It is unknown whether the convergence and non-convergence zones of the striatum differ functionally. Here, we used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and probabilistic fiber tracking to parcellate the...
Article
Full-text available
A whole-genome linkage analysis in a Finnish pedigree of eight cases with developmental dyslexia (DD) revealed several regions shared by the affected individuals. Analysis of coding variants from two affected individuals identified rs146011974G > A (Ala1039Thr), a rare variant within the NCAN gene co-segregating with DD in the pedigree. This varian...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate if increased physical activity (PA) leads to enhanced working memory capacity and arithmetic performance, in a 2-year school-based intervention in preadolescent children (age 6–13). The active school (n = 228) increased PA (aimed at increasing cardiovascular fitness) from 2 to 5 days a week while the control school (n = 242) remained...
Article
Full-text available
Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) is a promising technique that has been shown to improve working memory (WM) performance and enhance the effect of cognitive training. However, experimental set up and electrode placement are not always determined based on neurofunctional knowledge about WM, leading to inconsistent results. Additional research...
Article
Full-text available
The axon guidance receptor, Robo1, controls the pathfinding of callosal axons in mice. To determine whether the orthologous ROBO1 gene is involved in callosal development also in humans, we studied polymorphisms in the ROBO1 gene and variation in the white matter structure in the corpus callosum using both structural magnetic resonance imaging and...
Chapter
This chapter summarises the results of some meta-analyses evaluating the effects of a working memory training programme, and focuses on outcomes examined in the literature that are particularly relevant for ADHD: working memory, inhibitory control, academic performance, and behavioural symptoms of ADHD. It describes the results of the meta-analyses...
Article
There is a long-standing interest in the determinants of successful learning in children. "Grit" is an individual trait, reflecting the ability to pursue long-term goals despite temporary setbacks. Although grit is known to be predictive of future success in real-world learning situations, an understanding of the underlying neural basis and mechani...
Article
Mathematical ability, especially perception of numbers and performance of arithmetics, is known to rely on the activation of intraparietal sulcus (IPS). However, reasoning ability and working memory, 2 highly associated abilities also activate partly overlapping regions. Most studies aimed at localizing mathematical function have used group average...
Article
The primary aim of this study was to investigate to what degree the age-related white matter development, here called "brain age", is associated with working memory (WM) and numeric abilities in 6-year-old children. We measured white matter development using diffusion tensor imaging to calculate fractional anisotropy (FA). A "brain age" model was c...
Article
Full-text available
Mathematical performance is highly correlated with several general cognitive abilities, including working memory (WM) capacity. Here we investigated the effect of numerical training using a number-line (NLT), WM training (WMT), or the combination of the two on a composite score of mathematical ability. The aim was to investigate if the combination...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory - the ability to maintain and manipulate information over a period of seconds - is a core component of higher cognitive functions. The storage capacity of working memory is limited but can be expanded by training, and evidence of the neural mechanisms underlying this effect is accumulating. Human imaging studies and neurophysiologica...
Article
This paper gives a brief overview of phases in brain development and discusses the hypothesis that mechanisms of working memory development are partly the same as those of working memory training. Brain development could be related to different, but overlapping phases: (i) structural maturation, with a relatively high reliance of preprogrammed proc...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental dyslexia is the most common learning disorder in children. Problems in reading and writing are likely due to a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors, resulting in reduced power of studies of the genetic factors underlying developmental dyslexia. Our approach in the current study was to perform exome sequencing of af...
Article
School-age children born preterm are particularly at risk for low mathematical achievement, associated with reduced working memory and number skills. Early identification of preterm children at risk for future impairments using brain markers might assist in referral for early intervention. This study aimed to examine the use of neonatal magnetic re...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many common disorders across the lifespan feature impaired working memory (WM). Reported benefits of a WM training program include improving inattention in daily life, but this has not been evaluated in a meta-analysis. This study aimed to evaluate whether one WM training method has benefits for inattention in daily life by conducting...
Article
Full-text available
Cytogenetically visible chromosomal translocations are highly informative as they can pinpoint strong effect genes even in complex genetic disorders. Here, we report a mother and daughter, both with borderline intelligence and learning problems within the dyslexia spectrum, and two apparently balanced reciprocal translocations: t(1;8)(p22;q24) and...
Article
Theories view childhood development as being either driven by structural maturation of the brain or being driven by skill-learning. It is hypothesized here that working memory (WM) development during childhood is partly driven by training effects in the environment, and that similar neural mechanisms underlie training-induced plasticity and childho...
Article
Full-text available
Three genes, DYX1C1, DCDC2, and KIAA0319, have been previously associated with dyslexia, neuronal migration, and ciliary function. Three polymorphisms within these genes, rs3743204 (DYX1C1), rs793842 (DCDC2), and rs6935076 (KIAA0319) have also been linked to normal variability of left temporoparietal white matter volume connecting the middle tempor...
Article
Full-text available
Mathematical ability is dependent on specific mathematical training but also associated with a range of cognitive factors, including working memory (WM) capacity. Previous studies have shown that WM training leads to improvement in non-trained WM tasks, but the results regarding transfer to mathematics are inconclusive. In the present study, 176 ch...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation is important for learning and cognition. While dopaminergic (D2) transmission in the ventral striatum (VS) is associated with motivation, learning and cognition are more strongly associated with function of the dorsal striatum, including activation in the caudate nucleus. A recent study found an interaction between intrinsic motivation a...
Article
Full-text available
Human working memory capacity develops during childhood and is a strong predictor of future academic performance, in particular, achievements in mathematics and reading. Predicting working memory development is important for the early identification of children at risk for poor cognitive and academic development. Here we show that structural and fu...
Article
Full-text available
The increase in working memory (WM) capacity is an important part of cognitive development during childhood and adolescence. Cross-sectional analyses have associated this development with higher activity, thinner cortex, and white matter maturation in fronto-parietal networks. However, there is still a lack of longitudinal data showing the dynamics...
Article
Full-text available
Practicing a musical instrument is associated with cognitive benefits and structural brain changes in correlational and interventional trials; however, the effect of musical training on cognition during childhood is still unclear. In this longitudinal study of child development we analyzed the association between musical practice and performance on...
Article
Full-text available
There is recognition that biomedical research into the causes of mental disorders and their treatment needs to adopt new approaches to research. Novel biomedical techniques have advanced our understanding of how the brain develops and is shaped by behaviour and environment. This has led to the advent of stratified medicine, which translates advance...
Article
Full-text available
Limitations in the performance of working memory (WM) tasks have been characterized in terms of the number of items retained (capacity) and in terms of the precision with which the information is retained. The neural mechanisms behind these limitations are still unclear. Here we used a biological constrained computational model to study the capacit...
Article
Full-text available
Studying the effects of cognitive training can lead to finding better treatments, but it can also be a tool for investigating factors important for brain plasticity and acquisition of cognitive skills. In this study, we investigated how single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and ratings of intrinsic motivation were associated to interindividual dif...
Poster
Full-text available
Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is a promising candidate gene for major psychiatric disorders. This gene is involved in key processes of neurodevelopment, such as neuronal proliferation, differentiation and migration. In the brain DISC1 is predominantly expressed within the hippocampus. Two common functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms, Le...
Article
Full-text available
Independent studies have shown that candidate genes for dyslexia and specific language impairment (SLI) impact upon reading/language-specific traits in the general population. To further explore the effect of disorder-associated genes on cognitive functions, we investigated whether they play a role in broader cognitive traits. We tested a panel of...
Article
Full-text available
Children with intellectual disabilities show deficits in both reasoning ability and working memory (WM) that impact everyday functioning and academic achievement. In this study we investigated the feasibility of cognitive training for improving WM and non-verbal reasoning (NVR) ability in children with intellectual disability. Participants were ran...
Article
Volume and integrity of white matter correlate with reading ability, but the underlying factors contributing to this variability are unknown. We investigated single nucleotide polymorphisms in three genes previously associated with dyslexia and implicated in neuronal migration (DYX1C1, DCDC2, KIAA0319) and white matter volume in a cohort of 76 chil...
Article
Full-text available
A developmental increase in working memory capacity is an important part of cognitive development, and low working memory (WM) capacity is a risk factor for developing psychopathology. Brain activity represents a promising endophenotype for linking genes to behavior and for improving our understanding of the neurobiology of WM development. We inves...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive deficits and particularly deficits in working memory (WM) capacity are common features in neuropsychiatric disorders. Understanding the underlying mechanisms through which WM capacity can be improved is therefore of great importance. Several lines of research indicate that dopamine plays an important role not only in WM function but also...
Article
Full-text available
Visuospatial working memory (WM) capacity is highly correlated with mathematical reasoning abilities and can predict future development of arithmetical performance. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during visuospatial WM tasks correlates with interindividual differences in WM capacity. This region has also been implicated in numerical rep...
Article
Fluid intelligence (Gf) predicts performance on a wide range of cognitive activities, and children with impaired Gf often experience academic difficulties. Previous attempts to improve Gf have been hampered by poor control conditions and single outcome measures. It is thus still an open question whether Gf can be improved by training. This study in...