Neuroanatomical correlates of aging, cardiopulmonary fitness level, and education

Brian A. Gordon, Elena I. Rykhlevskaia, Carrie R. Brumback, Yukyung Lee, Steriani Elavsky, James F. Konopack, Edward McAuley, Arthur F. Kramer, Stanley Colcombe, Gabriele Gratton, Monica Fabiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fitness and education may protect against cognitive impairments in aging. They may also counteract age-related structural changes within the brain. Here we analyzed volumetric differences in cerebrospinal fluid and gray and white matter, along with neuropsychological data, in adults differing in age, fitness, and education. Cognitive performance was correlated with fitness and education. Voxel-based morphometry was used for a whole-brain analysis of structural magnetic resonance images. We found age-related losses in gray and white matter in medial-temporal, parietal, and frontal areas. As in previous work, fitness within the old correlated with preserved gray matter in the same areas. In contrast, higher education predicted preserved white matter in inferior frontal areas. These data suggest that fitness and education may both be predictive of preserved cognitive function in aging through separable effects on brain structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-838
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Aging
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Education
  • Fitness
  • Grey matter
  • Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Voxel-based morphometry (VBM)
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroanatomical correlates of aging, cardiopulmonary fitness level, and education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this