Bio Psych article review

Topics: Basal ganglia, Brain, Cognition Pages: 3 (736 words) Published: October 4, 2013

Biological Psych Individual Online Assignment – Movement & the Brain Article reviewed: Basal ganglia volume is associated with aerobic fitness in preadolescent children by Chaddock et al (2010)

Following Hillman, Erickson & Kramer’s (2008) study revealing the positive correlation between aerobic fitness and cognitive functions and Aron, Poldrack & Wise ‘s (2009) study on the basal ganglia’s vital role in cognitive control, the selected journal (Chaddock et al., 2010) incorporates an additional variable of basal ganglia volume to prove it’s relation with fitness and cognition. It was hypothesized that exercise increases the volume of basal ganglia parts which are vital in cognitive control. Childhood aerobic fitness as measured by oxygen consumption in a fitness assessment, was shown to positively impact structural volume of basal ganglia. Though previously proven, this study also confirms that aerobic fitness was positively correlated with higher cognitive control, as assessed in the Eriksen flanker task. Thus, the study brings forth the idea that increased exercise indeed increases volumes of basal ganglia structures which are highly likely to be involved in the control of cognition. Where obesity rate among children is on the rise, these findings may be fundamental in advocating exercise not only for physical health but very possibly for improved cognitive functioning and the maximization of children’s academic potential.

The research method used was the Eriksen flanker test, which has been used in numerous studies to assess cognitive control between fit and non-fit participants (Hillman et al., 2008; Kamijo et al., 2012; Verstynen et al, 2012). With the frequency of usage of the Eriksen flanker test, it can thus be confirmed that this test...
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