Overview: Specific intensities of exercise over long periods of time are associated with different aspects of memory and mental health.
sauce: Dartmouth College
Exercise can improve cognitive and mental health, but not all forms and intensities of exercise affect the brain equally. A new study from Dartmouth finds that the effects of exercise are more subtle, with specific intensities of exercise over time being associated with different aspects of memory and mental health.
The survey results are scientific report Provides insight on how to optimize your exercise.
“Mental health and memory are central to almost everything we do in our daily lives,” says lead author Jeremy Manning, an assistant professor of psychology and brain science at Dartmouth College. “Our research seeks to build a foundation for understanding how exercise of varying intensities affects different aspects of mental and cognitive health.
Researchers gave 113 Fitbit users a series of memory tests, answered several mental health questions, and asked them to share their fitness data from the previous year. They expected more active people to have better memory and mental health, but the results were more nuanced.
Those who tended to exercise at lower intensities performed better on some memory tasks, and those who exercised at higher intensities performed better on other memory tasks. also reported higher stress levels, but those who exercised regularly at low intensity had lower rates of anxiety and depression.
While previous research has focused on the effects of exercise on memory over relatively short timeframes of days or weeks, the Dartmouth researchers want to examine effects on much longer timescales. I was thinking.
The data includes daily steps taken, average heart rate, time spent exercising in different “heart rate zones” defined by FitBit (rest, out of range, fat burning, cardio, or peak), and Other information collected was included. over 1 year. Participants in this study were recruited online from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourced workforce.
The four types of memory tasks used in this study are designed to explore different aspects of participants’ performance over different timescales. Two sets of tasks were intended to test ‘episodic’ memory. This is the same kind of memory used to recall autobiographical events, as we did yesterday.
Another set of tasks was designed to test “spatial” memory. This is the same kind of memory used to remember places like where you parked your car. A final set of tasks tested “associative” memory (the ability to remember connections between concepts or other memories).
Participants who were more active than the previous year tended to show better memory performance overall, but the specific areas of improvement varied depending on the type of activity people engaged in.
The researchers found that participants who often exercised at moderate intensity tended to perform better on episodic memory tasks, and participants who exercised frequently at high intensity did better on spatial memory tasks. Sedentary participants who did little exercise tended to perform poorly on spatial memory tasks.
Researchers also identified a relationship between participants’ mental health and memory. Participants who self-reported anxiety and depression tended to perform better on spatial and associative memory tasks, whereas participants who self-reported bipolar disorder performed better on episodic memory tasks. there was a trend. Participants who reported higher levels of stress tended to perform worse on the associative memory task.
The team has made all the data and code freely available on Github for anyone who wants to explore the dataset or understand it better.
“When it comes to physical activity, memory, and mental health, there are very complex dynamics at work that can’t be summed up in one word, like ‘walking improves memory’ or ‘stress damages memory,'” says Manning. increase.
“Instead, it seems that certain forms of physical activity and certain aspects of mental health affect each aspect of memory differently.”
The team says additional research could lead to some exciting applications for their findings. To help with this, we can design specific exercise regimens that help improve cognitive performance and mental health.”
About this neuroscience research news
author: Amy Olson
sauce: Dartmouth College
contact: Amy Olson – Dartmouth College
image: image is public domain
Original research: open access.
“Fitness tracking reveals task-specific associations between memory, mental health, and physical activity” by Jeremy Manning et al. scientific report
Fitness Tracking Reveals Task-Specific Links Between Memory, Mental Health, and Physical Activity
Physical activity benefits both physical and mental health. Different forms of exercise (for example, aerobic and anaerobic exercise, running and walking, swimming, or yoga, high-intensity interval and endurance training, etc.) affect fitness in different ways. For example, running can have a big impact on leg and heart strength, but less on arm strength.
We hypothesized that the mental benefits of physical activity might be differentiated as well. A special focus has been placed on the related
To test our hypothesis, we collected about a century worth of fitness data (in total). Participants were then asked to complete a questionnaire and self-report on various aspects of their mental health. We also asked participants to engage in a battery of memory tasks that tested their short-term and long-term episodic, semantic, and spatial memory performance.
We found that participants with similar physical activity habits and fitness profiles also tended to have similar mental health and task performance profiles. These effects were task-specific in that different physical activity patterns or fitness traits differed by different aspects of memory in different tasks.
Taken together, these findings provide fundamental work to leverage low-cost fitness tracking devices to design physical activity interventions that target specific components of cognitive performance and mental health.