A single, moderate workout may immediately change how our brains function and how well we recognize common names and similar information, according to a promising new study of exercise, memory and aging. The study adds to growing evidence that exercise can have rapid effects on brain function and also that these effects could accumulate and lead to long-term improvements in how our brains operate and we remember.
Until recently, scientists thought that by adulthood, human brains were relatively fixed in their structure and function, especially compared to malleable tissues, like muscle, that continually grow and shrivel in direct response to how we live our lives. But multiple, newer experiments have shown that adult brains, in fact, can be quite plastic, rewiring and reshaping themselves in various ways, depending on our lifestyles.


Exercise, for instance, is known to affect our brains. In animal experiments, exercise increases the production of neurochemicals and the numbers of newborn neurons in mature brains and improves the animals’ thinking abilities. Similarly, in people, studies show that regular exercise over time increases the volume of the hippocampus, a key part of the brain’s memory networks. It also improves many aspects of people’s thinking.
But substantial questions remain about exercise and the brain, including the time course of any changes and whether they are short-term or, with continued training, become lasting.
That particular issue intrigued scientists at the University of Maryland. They already had published a study in 2013 with older adults looking at the long-term effects of exercise on portions of the brain involved in semantic-memory processing.
Semantic memory is, in essence, our knowledge of the world and culture of which we are a part. It represents the context of our lives — a buildup of common names and concepts, such as “what is the color blue?” or “who is Ringo Starr?”.
It also can be ephemeral. As people age, semantic memory often is one of the first forms of memory to fade.
But the Maryland scientists had found in their earlier study that a 12-week program of treadmill walking changed the working of portions of the brain involved in semantic memory. After four months of exercise, those parts of the brain became less active during semantic-memory tests, which is a desirable outcome. Less activity suggests that the brain had become more efficient at semantic-memory processing as a result of the exercise, requiring fewer resources to access the memories.
Now, for the new study, which was published in April in The Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, the scientists decided to backtrack and parse the steps involved in getting to that state. Specifically, they wanted to see how a single workout might change the way the brain processed semantic memories.

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Comments   

Drusilla
# How Exercise Affects Our MemoryDrusilla 2020-01-01 00:08
I read this post completely regarding the difference of newest and preceding technologies, it's amazing article.
Reply

Copyright © 2020 Institute of Biochemistry of NASB. All Rights Reserved.