How Childhood Fitness Influences Brain Fitness, Brain Implants For Communication, And How The Brain Processes Blame
A roundup of some fascinating research into the human brain
This week a review of some of the fascinating stories that have come out of the world of neuroscience.
How Childhood Fitness Influences Brain Fitness in Adolescence
A study over eight years by Petri Jalanko and colleagues of the University of Eastern Finland looked at physical fitness levels and the volume of the cerebellum in the brain. The cerebellum is considered the small brain, and though directly associated with movement and coordination, is also important in multiple brain processes including learning and cognition.
There have been other studies looking at correlations between physical activity and development of brain regions in children but this is probably the first that directly looks at fitness levels and development of the cerebellum.
They did indeed find that higher fitness levels in childhood predicted higher grey matter volume in adolescence. However there were some contradictions such as those adolescents with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness had lower grey matter volumes. This could be to do with development trajectories or specific training in adolescence.
More research is certainly needed but this combined with other research shows just how important physical activity in childhood is for healthy brain development.
Multiple studies have also shown that this is not just in children — physical activity also prevents cognitive decline in age.
But sticking with the topic of the fascinating Cerebellum — I have previously written about the cerebellum and how it is an underestimated brain region — another piece of research hot of the press also shows how the cerebellum is involved in social cognition.
Cerebellum Directs Social Recognition Memory
In this study by Owen Chao of University of Minnesota Medical School, the goal was to look at social recognition memory. This the relative simple process, for most of us, of…