wolf-whistles or cat-calls on the beach, but it can improve your memory. The good news is that if you're physically fit, you are already on
your way to being mentally fit. Aerobic exercise not only gets
your body in shape, but, according to recent research, it can help enlarge your hippocampus.
That's like two workouts in one!
The hippocampus is
a region of the brain that deals with learning and memory, and also with
spatial navigation. It is considered part of the limbic system--the
headquarters for emotion. While the hippocampus' role in memory is yes to be fully understood, it seems that the region may play a role in forming new
Laszlo Seress (Retrieved via email from the creator.)
related to hippocampal volume in nine and ten-year-old children. The
results showed that the hippocampus of fit children was about 12 percent
bigger than non-fit children. Not only that, but the fitter kids also used their burly hippocampus to perform better on memory
tasks. Another study showed that
the same is true for the opposite end of the generation spectrum. A
group of older adults aged 55 to 80 participated in an aerobic workout
program for one year, while another group simply engaged in stretching. After the
year was up, researchers took a look at the subjects' brains and found
that hippocampus of the active adults had indeed gotten bigger. Although
the growth was small -- 2.12 percent in the left hippocampus and 1.97
percent in the right hippocampus -- the study was important because it
showed that the hippocampus can still grow and change as we get older.
man named Henry Molaison who had the hippocampus on both sides of his
brain surgically removed in an effort to control seizures. In a
magnificent and surprisingly personal essay that was published in Esquire and included in in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011,
Luke Dittrich describes how the lobotomy affected Henry's behavior and
what researchers found when they dissected his brain after he died.
doing research one summer. We were studying the affects of bisphenol A
(BPA) in a couple specific brain regions. Our study required samples of
rat hippocampal tissue, so at one point I remember inspecting a little
plastic container of clear liquid with a freshly-collected hippocampus
I recalled that some of the first researchers of the hippocampus
thought that it resembled a seahorse, so they named it after the Greek
word for that sea creature. Sure enough, the structure I was looking at
had a crescent shape to it, but I did not think of a seahorse. It reminded me more of candy -- specifically banana Runts.
Runts in front of the TV and head to the gym for a little aerobic