A new Australian study found that aerobic exercise can improve memory and maintain brain health as we age.
Researchers from Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.
Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by approximately five per cent per decade after the age of 40.
The researches included 737 people to study regularly viewing 14 clinical trials which examined their brain scans before and after aerobic exercise programs or in control conditions.
The researchers examined effects of aerobic exercise, including stationary cycling, walking, and treadmill running.
Overall, the results — published in the journal NeuroImage — showed that, while exercise had no effect on total hippocampal volume, it did significantly increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.
Behavioral neuroscientists from UCLA identified changes in two brain regions that may answer to a question why some people prefer order and certainty while others prefer frequent changes and impulsive decisions.
The researchers set several experiments with rats. They found that all rats chose the risky option more often in the experiments. The exception was the rats without a functional basolateral amygdala, and those animals did not take risks during the experiments.
Changes in the brain regions and brain proteins may help scientists to explain people’s preferences for some outcomes. In the future, this knowledge may help to target any brain region to treat any disorder, including behavioral addictions such as gambling.
A recent study by the team of researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that when men and women work together, their brains may not take the same approach to cooperation.
In this research, the areas of the brain that lit up were synchronized when two men carried out a task, and when two women did the same, although these areas were different in men and women. In pairs including one man and one woman, the brain activity didn’t synchronize.
More than 50 years of research showed that men and women have different ways of cooperation, the study says.
Dr. Allan Reiss, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and the lead author of the study said: “It’s not that either males or females are better at cooperating, or can’t cooperate with each other. Rather, there’s just a difference in how they’re cooperating.”