A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children

Laura Chaddock, Kirk I. Erickson, Ruchika Shaurya Prakash, Jennifer S. Kim, Michelle W. Voss, Matt Vanpatter, Matthew B. Pontifex, Lauren B. Raine, Alex Konkel, Charles H. Hillman, Neal J. Cohen, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Because children are becoming overweight, unhealthy, and unfit, understanding the neurocognitive benefits of an active lifestyle in childhood has important public health and educational implications. Animal research has indicated that aerobic exercise is related to increased cell proliferation and survival in the hippocampus as well as enhanced hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Recent evidence extends this relationship to elderly humans by suggesting that high aerobic fitness levels in older adults are associated with increased hippocampal volume and superior memory performance. The present study aimed to further extend the link between fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory to a sample of preadolescent children. To this end, magnetic resonance imaging was employed to investigate whether higher- and lower-fit 9- and 10-year-old children showed differences in hippocampal volume and if the differences were related to performance on an item and relational memory task. Relational but not item memory is primarily supported by the hippocampus. Consistent with predictions, higher-fit children showed greater bilateral hippocampal volumes and superior relational memory task performance compared to lower-fit children. Hippocampal volume was also positively associated with performance on the relational but not the item memory task. Furthermore, bilateral hippocampal volume was found to mediate the relationship between fitness level (VO 2 max) and relational memory. No relationship between aerobic fitness, nucleus accumbens volume, and memory was reported, which strengthens the hypothesized specific effect of fitness on the hippocampus. The findings are the first to indicate that aerobic fitness may relate to the structure and function of the preadolescent human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-183
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
Volume1358
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2010

Fingerprint

Neuroimaging
Hippocampus
Nucleus Accumbens
Task Performance and Analysis
Life Style
Cell Survival
Public Health
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Cell Proliferation
Learning
Exercise
Brain

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Children
  • Exercise
  • Hippocampus
  • MRI
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children. / Chaddock, Laura; Erickson, Kirk I.; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Kim, Jennifer S.; Voss, Michelle W.; Vanpatter, Matt; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Raine, Lauren B.; Konkel, Alex; Hillman, Charles H.; Cohen, Neal J.; Kramer, Arthur F.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1358, 28.10.2010, p. 172-183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chaddock, L, Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, Kim, JS, Voss, MW, Vanpatter, M, Pontifex, MB, Raine, LB, Konkel, A, Hillman, CH, Cohen, NJ & Kramer, AF 2010, 'A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children', Brain Research, vol. 1358, pp. 172-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.049
Chaddock, Laura ; Erickson, Kirk I. ; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya ; Kim, Jennifer S. ; Voss, Michelle W. ; Vanpatter, Matt ; Pontifex, Matthew B. ; Raine, Lauren B. ; Konkel, Alex ; Hillman, Charles H. ; Cohen, Neal J. ; Kramer, Arthur F. / A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children. In: Brain Research. 2010 ; Vol. 1358. pp. 172-183.
@article{4a1d4d8a81da4dc29451a7a7a9d22e6a,
title = "A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children",
abstract = "Because children are becoming overweight, unhealthy, and unfit, understanding the neurocognitive benefits of an active lifestyle in childhood has important public health and educational implications. Animal research has indicated that aerobic exercise is related to increased cell proliferation and survival in the hippocampus as well as enhanced hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Recent evidence extends this relationship to elderly humans by suggesting that high aerobic fitness levels in older adults are associated with increased hippocampal volume and superior memory performance. The present study aimed to further extend the link between fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory to a sample of preadolescent children. To this end, magnetic resonance imaging was employed to investigate whether higher- and lower-fit 9- and 10-year-old children showed differences in hippocampal volume and if the differences were related to performance on an item and relational memory task. Relational but not item memory is primarily supported by the hippocampus. Consistent with predictions, higher-fit children showed greater bilateral hippocampal volumes and superior relational memory task performance compared to lower-fit children. Hippocampal volume was also positively associated with performance on the relational but not the item memory task. Furthermore, bilateral hippocampal volume was found to mediate the relationship between fitness level (VO 2 max) and relational memory. No relationship between aerobic fitness, nucleus accumbens volume, and memory was reported, which strengthens the hypothesized specific effect of fitness on the hippocampus. The findings are the first to indicate that aerobic fitness may relate to the structure and function of the preadolescent human brain.",
keywords = "Brain, Children, Exercise, Hippocampus, MRI, Physical activity",
author = "Laura Chaddock and Erickson, {Kirk I.} and Prakash, {Ruchika Shaurya} and Kim, {Jennifer S.} and Voss, {Michelle W.} and Matt Vanpatter and Pontifex, {Matthew B.} and Raine, {Lauren B.} and Alex Konkel and Hillman, {Charles H.} and Cohen, {Neal J.} and Kramer, {Arthur F.}",
year = "2010",
month = "10",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.049",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "1358",
pages = "172--183",
journal = "Brain Research",
issn = "0006-8993",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children

AU - Chaddock, Laura

AU - Erickson, Kirk I.

AU - Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya

AU - Kim, Jennifer S.

AU - Voss, Michelle W.

AU - Vanpatter, Matt

AU - Pontifex, Matthew B.

AU - Raine, Lauren B.

AU - Konkel, Alex

AU - Hillman, Charles H.

AU - Cohen, Neal J.

AU - Kramer, Arthur F.

PY - 2010/10/28

Y1 - 2010/10/28

N2 - Because children are becoming overweight, unhealthy, and unfit, understanding the neurocognitive benefits of an active lifestyle in childhood has important public health and educational implications. Animal research has indicated that aerobic exercise is related to increased cell proliferation and survival in the hippocampus as well as enhanced hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Recent evidence extends this relationship to elderly humans by suggesting that high aerobic fitness levels in older adults are associated with increased hippocampal volume and superior memory performance. The present study aimed to further extend the link between fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory to a sample of preadolescent children. To this end, magnetic resonance imaging was employed to investigate whether higher- and lower-fit 9- and 10-year-old children showed differences in hippocampal volume and if the differences were related to performance on an item and relational memory task. Relational but not item memory is primarily supported by the hippocampus. Consistent with predictions, higher-fit children showed greater bilateral hippocampal volumes and superior relational memory task performance compared to lower-fit children. Hippocampal volume was also positively associated with performance on the relational but not the item memory task. Furthermore, bilateral hippocampal volume was found to mediate the relationship between fitness level (VO 2 max) and relational memory. No relationship between aerobic fitness, nucleus accumbens volume, and memory was reported, which strengthens the hypothesized specific effect of fitness on the hippocampus. The findings are the first to indicate that aerobic fitness may relate to the structure and function of the preadolescent human brain.

AB - Because children are becoming overweight, unhealthy, and unfit, understanding the neurocognitive benefits of an active lifestyle in childhood has important public health and educational implications. Animal research has indicated that aerobic exercise is related to increased cell proliferation and survival in the hippocampus as well as enhanced hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Recent evidence extends this relationship to elderly humans by suggesting that high aerobic fitness levels in older adults are associated with increased hippocampal volume and superior memory performance. The present study aimed to further extend the link between fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory to a sample of preadolescent children. To this end, magnetic resonance imaging was employed to investigate whether higher- and lower-fit 9- and 10-year-old children showed differences in hippocampal volume and if the differences were related to performance on an item and relational memory task. Relational but not item memory is primarily supported by the hippocampus. Consistent with predictions, higher-fit children showed greater bilateral hippocampal volumes and superior relational memory task performance compared to lower-fit children. Hippocampal volume was also positively associated with performance on the relational but not the item memory task. Furthermore, bilateral hippocampal volume was found to mediate the relationship between fitness level (VO 2 max) and relational memory. No relationship between aerobic fitness, nucleus accumbens volume, and memory was reported, which strengthens the hypothesized specific effect of fitness on the hippocampus. The findings are the first to indicate that aerobic fitness may relate to the structure and function of the preadolescent human brain.

KW - Brain

KW - Children

KW - Exercise

KW - Hippocampus

KW - MRI

KW - Physical activity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77957342026&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77957342026&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.049

DO - 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.049

M3 - Article

C2 - 20735996

AN - SCOPUS:77957342026

VL - 1358

SP - 172

EP - 183

JO - Brain Research

JF - Brain Research

SN - 0006-8993

ER -