Some new information from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society is exciting news for anyone concerned with the long-term health of their brain.
Scientists are hoping for a shift in perception in the public with this new work. Most people associate physical fitness with getting stronger, dropping a few pounds, or turning heads on the beach during the summer.
As we've reported on numerous times before, your brain needs the exercise too.
A study at the University of Iowa looked at the connection between a single session of exercise and how it correlated to long-term gains.
The most exciting information to come out of this new study is the immediate nature of the changes. To put another way, your brain changes after even one workout, and those changes accumulate over time.
"There is a strong and direct link between physical activity and how your brain works." -Wendy Suzuki, New York University
Participants in this study underwent fMRI scans and working memory tests before and after single sessions of light and moderate intensity exercise, then again after a 12 week training program. The exercise involved recumbent bikes.
The Cognitive Neuroscience Society's annual symposium is always exciting and this year it's really promising to see how the physical side feeds into the cognitive side and vice versa.
In the coming years we can expect to see more studies looking to replicate these results and use larger sample sizes.
I for one would like to see studies predicated on more intense exercise than recumbent bikes and hope that is on the horizon soon.