Aerobic fitness is associated with greater white matter integrity in children

Laura Chaddock-Heyman, Kirk I. Erickson, Joseph L. Holtrop, Michelle W. Voss, Matthew B. Pontifex, Lauren B. Raine, Charles H. Hillman, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aerobic fitness has been found to play a positive role in brain and cognitive health of children. Yet, many of the neural biomarkers related to aerobic fitness remain unknown. Here, using diffusion tensor imaging, we demonstrated that higher aerobic fitness was related to greater estimates of white matter microstructure in children. Higher fit 9- and 10-year-old children showed greater fractional anisotropy (FA) in sections of the corpus callosum, corona radiata, and superior longitudinal fasciculus, compared to lower fit children. The FA effects were primarily characterized by aerobic fitness differences in radial diffusivity, thereby raising the possibility that estimates of myelination may vary as a function of individual differences in fitness during childhood. White matter structure may be another potential neural mechanism of aerobic fitness that assists in efficient communication between gray matter regions as well as the integration of regions into networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number584
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 2014

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Keywords

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Development
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fiber tracts
  • Microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Chaddock-Heyman, L., Erickson, K. I., Holtrop, J. L., Voss, M. W., Pontifex, M. B., Raine, L. B., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2014). Aerobic fitness is associated with greater white matter integrity in children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(AUG), [584]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00584