CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sept. 16 (UPI) — U.S. researchers link brain development in children ages 9-10 to physical fitness.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Champaign say fit children tend to do better than their less fit peers on memory tests. Those who were most fit also tended to have a bigger hippocampus — a structure deep in the brain important in learning.
The study, published in Brain Research, determined fitness by measuring how efficiently oxygen was used while running on a treadmill.
“The physically fit children were much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen,” study leader Art Kramer said in statement.
Kramer and colleagues 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,” Kramer says in statement. “Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition.”
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