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Ageing, fitness and neurocognitive function
Kramer, Arthur F.; Hahn, Sowon; Cohen, Neal J.; Banich, Marie T.; McAuley, Edward; Harrison, Catherine R.; Chason, Julie; Vakil, Eli; Bardell, Lynn; Boileau, Richard A.; Colcombe, Angela
AA(), AB(), AC(), AD(), AE(), AF(), AG(), AH(), AI(), AJ(), AK()
Nature, Volume 400, Issue 6743, pp. 418-419 (1999). (Nature Homepage)
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(c) 1999: Nature
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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 neurochemical 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.
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