About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

A Link Between Children's Brain Development and Physical Fitness

by Savitha C Muppala on September 18, 2010 at 1:38 AM
Font : A-A+

 A Link Between Children's Brain Development and Physical Fitness

Researchers have found a connection between physical fitness and children's brain development.

University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer and his colleagues found differences in the brains of physically fit children and their less-fit peers.

Advertisement

According to the study, those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers.

A bigger hippocampus in nine- and ten-year-old children appears to boost their performance on a relational memory task, said University of Illinois doctoral student Laura Chaddock.
Advertisement

The new study used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the relative size of specific structures in the brains of 49 child subjects.

"This is the first study I know of that has used MRI measures to look at differences in brain between kids who are fit and kids who aren't fit. Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition," said Kramer.

The study focused on the hippocampus, a structure tucked deep in the brain, because it is known to be important in learning and memory.

Previous studies in older adults and in animals have shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus.

A bigger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks.

"In animal studies, exercise has been shown to specifically affect the hippocampus, significantly increasing the growth of new neurons and cell survival, enhancing memory and learning, and increasing molecules that are involved in the plasticity of the brain," Chaddock said.

Rather than relying on second-hand reports of children's physical activity level, the researchers measured how efficiently the subjects used oxygen while running on a treadmill.

"This is the gold standard measure of fitness," Chaddock said.

The physically fit children were "much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen," Kramer said.

When they analyzed the MRI data, the researchers found that the physically fit children tended to have bigger hippocampal volume about 12 percent bigger relative to total brain size - than their out-of-shape peers.

The children who were in better physical condition also did better on tests of relational memory - the ability to remember and integrate various types of information - than their less-fit peers.

The study appears in the journal Brain Research.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Macronutrients Calculator for Weight Loss
Quiz on Kidney
World Disability Day 2022 - The Role of Innovative Transformation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Introduction To Physiotherapy Types of Physiotherapy Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Exercise and Fitness Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Ataxia Nutrition and Cognitive Development in Young Children 

Most Popular on Medindia

Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Drug Side Effects Calculator Drug Interaction Checker Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Find a Hospital Blood Pressure Calculator Sanatogen Blood Donation - Recipients Noscaphene (Noscapine) Indian Medical Journals
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

A Link Between Children's Brain Development and Physical Fitness Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests