Our increasingly inactive lifestyle is detrimental to physical and cognitive health. This review focuses on the beneficial relation of physical activity and aerobic fitness to the brain and cognitive health in a youth and elderly population to highlight the need to change this pattern. In children, increased physical activity and higher levels of aerobic fitness have been associated with superior academic achievement and cognitive processes. Differences in brain volumes and brain function of higher-fit and lower-fit peers are potential mechanisms underlying the performance differences in cognitive challenges. We hope that this research will encourage modifications in educational policies that will increase physical activity during the school day. In addition, older adults who participate in physical activity show higher performance on a variety of cognitive tasks, coupled with less risk of cognitive impairment. The cognitive enhancements are in part driven by less age-related brain tissue loss and increases in the efficiency of brain function. Given the increasing aging population and threat of dementia, research about the plasticity of the elderly active brain has important public health implications. Collectively, the data support that participation in physical activity could enhance daily functioning, learning, achievement, and brain health in children and the elderly.
Laura Chaddock, Michelle W. Voss and Arthur F. Kramer
Robert F. Potter and Justin Robert Keene
An experiment investigates the impact of fan identification on the cognitive and emotional processing of sports-related news media. Two coaches were featured; one conceptualized as negatively valenced the other positively. Participants completed a fan identification scale before stimuli presentation. While watching the press conferences, heart rate, skin conductance, and corrugator muscle activity were recorded as indices of cognitive resource allocation, emotional arousal, and aversive motivation activation respectively. Self-report measures were collected after each stimulus. Results show that highly identified fans process sports-related news content differently than moderate fans, allocating more cognitive resources and exhibiting greater aversive reactions to the negatively valenced coach. Comparisons between the self-report and psychophysiology data suggest that the latter may be less susceptible to social desirability response bias when emotional reaction to sports messages are concerned.
Jennifer J. Heisz and Ana Kovacevic
Age-related changes in the brain can compromise cognitive function. However, in some cases, the brain is able to functionally reorganize to compensate for some of this loss. The present paper reviews the benefits of exercise on executive functions in older adults and discusses a potential mechanism through which exercise may change the way the brain processes information for better cognitive outcomes. Specifically, older adults who are more physically active demonstrate a shift toward local neural processing that is associated with better executive functions. We discuss the use of neural complexity as a sensitive measure of the neural network plasticity that is enhanced through exercise. We conclude by highlighting the future work needed to improve exercise prescriptions that help older adults maintain their cognitive and physical functions for longer into their lifespan.
Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby and Arne Nieuwenhuys
dysfunctional cognitions and emotions ( Jones & Harwood, 2008 ; McPherson, 2000 ). In this process of evaluation, athletes may consider the emotional state of their fellow competitors and attempt to determine whether an opponent is in his or her optimal emotional state for performance ( Hanin, 2003 ). The
Markus Gerber, Simon Best, Fabienne Meerstetter, Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, Henrik Gustafsson, Renzo Bianchi, Daniel J. Madigan, Flora Colledge, Sebastian Ludyga, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler and Serge Brand
more dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions than athletes below this cutoff. Second, we hypothesized that athletes above the clinical burnout threshold would have less favorable objective sleep patterns than their peers scoring below the cutoff ( Ekstedt et al., 2006 ), although some studies in this
Chun-Chih Wang, Brandon Alderman, Chih-Han Wu, Lin Chi, Su-Ru Chen, I-Hua Chu and Yu-Kai Chang
acute exercise and cognition have been variable, ranging from small negative effects (effect size = −0.16; Lambourne & Tomporowski, 2010 ) to moderate positive effects (effect size = 0.42; Chang et al., 2012 ). One reason for these mixed findings may be due to the timing of cognitive task
Iréné Lopez-Fontana, Carole Castanier, Christine Le Scanff and Alexandra Perrot
cognition, and that particular conditions and populations may influence this relationship (e.g., Angevaren, Aufdemkampe, Verhaar, Aleman, & Vanhees, 2008 ; Baker et al., 2010 ; Blumenthal et al., 1991 ; Emery & Gatz, 1990 ; Hill, Storandt, & Malley, 1993 ; Jäger, Schmidt, Conzelmann, & Roebers, 2015
Serge Brand, Markus Gerber, Flora Colledge, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse and Sebastian Ludyga
condition ( Bernstein & McNally, 2017b ). According to meta-analytical findings, exercise at a very light intensity, such as stretching, elicits no benefits for cognition if performance is assessed after a delay following the exercise session ( Chang et al., 2012 ). Therefore, participants in CON engaged in
Barbara Resnick, Elizabeth Galik, Marie Boltz, Erin Vigne, Sarah Holmes, Steven Fix and Shijun Zhu
living in these settings. First, we hypothesized that when controlling for age, gender, cognition, setting, and function, those who engaged in moderate or vigorous activity would not be at greater risk of falling than those who did not. Second, we hypothesized that those who engaged in the recommended
Maria-Christina Kosteli, Jennifer Cumming and Sarah E. Williams
increase, and these in turn can strengthen the beliefs about the positive outcomes from engaging in PA ( Hall, 1995 ). Overall, these results suggest that self-regulatory imagery is a potentially powerful tool for influencing exercise-related cognitions. Higher levels of self-regulatory imagery were also