Effects of Sport Training on Cognition in Young Adulthood

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Oczkowski, Veronica
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Brain and behaviour are heavily impacted by our environment. This study examines how a positive experience, exercise, impacts brain development in adolescence and how that relates to brain and behavioural changes in young adulthood. A rat model was used to determine the impact of exercise, specifically complex exercise, such as sport and multi-sports, has on brain development. Adolescent rats were grouped and subjected to either, no exercise, exercise in the form of wheel running, training on one of three single complex motor tasks (“sports”), or training on all three complex motor tasks, for 3 weeks. Following training, rats completed a battery of behavioural tests during young adulthood and their brains examined. Findings include increased anxiety-like behaviour, changes in memory, attentional control and decision making, reduced cortical thickness and spine density, and finally increased thalamic area. Exercise and sport training in adolescence was found to positively impact cognition in young adulthood.
Teenagers , Sports , Exercise , Cognitive science