Can physical activity make you smarter?

From KurzweilAI:

Physical-Activity-Associated-with-Brain-PlasticityExercise may enhance plasticity of the adult brain — the ability of our neurons to change with experience — which is essential for learning, memory, and brain repair, Italian researchers report in an open-access paper in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.

Their research, which focused on the the visual cortex, may offer hope for people with traumatic brain injury or eye conditions such as amblyopia, the researchers suggest. “We provide the first demonstration that moderate levels of physical activity enhance neuroplasticity in the visual cortex of adult humans,” says Claudia Lunghi of the University of Pisa in Italy. Brain plasticity is generally thought to decline with age, especially in the sensory region of the brain (such as vision). But previous studies by research colleague Alessandro Sale of the National Research Council’s Neuroscience Institute showed that animals performing physical activity — for example rats running on a wheel — showed elevated levels of plasticity in the visual cortex and had improved recovery from amblyopia compared to more sedentary animals.

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