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Brain Sci. 2012, 2(4), 709-744;

On Aerobic Exercise and Behavioral and Neural Plasticity

Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA
Department of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61702, USA
Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University-Texarkana, Texarkana, TX 75503, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2012 / Revised: 1 November 2012 / Accepted: 13 November 2012 / Published: 29 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function)
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Aerobic exercise promotes rapid and profound alterations in the brain. Depending upon the pattern and duration of exercise, these changes in the brain may extend beyond traditional motor areas to regions and structures normally linked to learning, cognition, and emotion. Exercise-induced alterations may include changes in blood flow, hormone and growth factor release, receptor expression, angiogenesis, apoptosis, neurogenesis, and synaptogenesis. Together, we believe that these changes underlie elevations of mood and prompt the heightened behavioral plasticity commonly observed following adoption of a chronic exercise regimen. In the following paper, we will explore both the psychological and psychobiological literatures relating to exercise effects on brain in both human and non-human animals and will attempt to link plastic changes in these neural structures to modifications in learned behavior and emotional expression. In addition, we will explore the therapeutic potential of exercise given recent reports that aerobic exercise may serve as a neuroprotectant and can also slow cognitive decline during normal and pathological aging. View Full-Text
Keywords: experience-dependent plasticity; brain; angiogenesis; neurogenesis; depression; anxiety; learning and memory experience-dependent plasticity; brain; angiogenesis; neurogenesis; depression; anxiety; learning and memory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Swain, R.A.; Berggren, K.L.; Kerr, A.L.; Patel, A.; Peplinski, C.; Sikorski, A.M. On Aerobic Exercise and Behavioral and Neural Plasticity. Brain Sci. 2012, 2, 709-744.

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