Influence of aerobic fitness on the neurocognitive function of older adults

Arthur F. Kramer, Sowon Hahn, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article provides a brief review of the literature on the relationship between aerobic fitness and neurocognitive function, particularly as it relates to older adults. Cross-sectional studies provide strong support for the beneficial influence of fitness on neurocognitive function. The longitudinal or interventional literature, however, provides more equivocal support for this relationship. In discussing the literature, the authors introduce a new hypothesis, the executive control/fitness hypothesis, which suggests that selective neurocognitive benefits will be observed with improvements in aerobic fitness; that is, executive control processes that include planning, scheduling, task coordination, inhibition, and working memory will benefit from enhanced fitness. Preliminary evidence for this hypothesis is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Executive control processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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