"In animal studies, exercise has been shown to specifically affect the hippocampus, significantly increasing the growth of new neurons and cell survival, enhancing memory and learning, and increasing molecules that are involved in the plasticity of the brain,"
- Those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers.
- The researchers found that the physically fit children tended to have bigger hippocampal volume – about 12% bigger relative to total brain size – than their out-of-shape peers.
- A bigger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks.
"This is the first study I know of that has used MRI measures to look at differences in brain between kids who are fit and kids who aren't fit," -- "Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition."
Children's brain development is linked to physical fitness