Ageing, fitness and neurocognitive function [7]

A. F. Kramer, S. Hahn, N. J. Cohen, M. T. Banich, E. McAuley, C. R. Harrison, J. Chason, E. Vakil, L. Bardell, R. A. Boileau, A. Colcombe

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1099 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the ageing process, neural areas and cognitive processes do not degrade uniformly. Executive control processes and the prefrontal and frontal brain regions that support them show large and disproportionate changes with age. Studies of adult animals indicate that metabolic and neurochemical6 functions improve with aerobic fitness. We therefore investigated whether greater aerobic fitness in adults would result in selective improvements in executive control processes, such as planning, scheduling, inhibition and working memory. Over a period of six months, we studied 124 previously sedentary adults, 60 to 75 years old, who were randomly assigned to either aerobic (walking) or anaerobic (stretching and toning) exercise. We found that those who received aerobic training showed substantial improvements in performance on tasks requiring executive control compared with anaerobically trained subjects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-419
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume400
Issue number6743
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

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