Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Science
exercise, program, volume, brain, changes
Previous research suggests that certain exercise programs can result in an increase in hippocampal volume (e.g., Pajonk et al., 2010). This study examined the effects of the use of a cycling exercise program on brain volume as assessed with Voxel Based Morphomotry (VBM). Structural Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) from eight participants were collected prior to and after a structured exercise program, and were then analyzed for differences in brain volume. The exercise program involved exercising on a stationary bicycle for two hours three times a week. Changes in gray matter (GM), white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were examined using VBM. Differences in voxel intensity (i.e., density) and total volume (i.e. number of voxels) were used to establish changes due to the exercise program. Significant increases in WM intensity were seen in the precentral gyrus and medial frontal gyrus, suggesting an increased connectivity between motor and executive function regions of the brain.
Harmon, Elliot D., "Effects of exercise on neural plasticity in older adults" (2010). Honors Theses. 1148.