Animal Models of Exercise-Brain Interactions

G. F. Hamilton, J. S. Rhodes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is now established that regular exercise broadly enhances cognitive performance across the lifespan. Animal models are beginning to discover the underlying biochemical, physiological, and morphological mechanisms. Of all the brain regions affected by exercise, the hippocampus is by far the most impacted. Large numbers of neurons fire in synchrony in this region during exercise, and the magnitude of the electrical activity is closely correlated with exercise intensity. In response to the repeated activation, the entire structure enlarges, in part from the addition of new neurons. The central involvement of the hippocampus in exercise-brain interactions is particularly intriguing given the key role of the hippocampus in learning and memory. In this chapter, we first describe a few different animal models used to study the effects of exercise on the brain. Then we review the rodent work focusing on the functional significance of exercise-induced adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExercise-Cognition Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationNeuroscience Perspectives
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128011485
ISBN (Print)9780128007785
StatePublished - 2016


  • Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Running
  • Strength training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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