Want to improve your attentional control – get in shape

One important aspect of brain health is attentional  control. A new paper finds that in the aging brain attention is linked with aerobic fitness:

Employing a version of the Stroop task, we examined whether higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with an increase in activation in cortical regions responsible for imposing attentional control along with an up-regulation of activity in sensory brain regions that process task-relevant representations. Higher fitness levels were associated with better behavioral performance and an increase in the recruitment of prefrontal and parietal cortices in the most challenging condition, thus providing evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with an increase in the recruitment of the anterior processing regions.

Take home message: keep yourself fit if you want to have a health brain that is still capable of proper attention.

 

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