Exercising after studying may boost memory recall

Posted on in Industry News, News

exercising and studyingCollege students take note: if you exercise four hours after studying it may increase your chances of remembering what you studied.

A study by Guillen Fernandez, director of the Donders institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that undertaking exercises four hours post study sessions can increase the chance of remembering information.

Laboratory studies of animals indicated that naturally occurring chemical compounds in the body can enhance memory consolidation. The release of certain neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) leads to the production of so-called plasticity-related proteins. The proteins help stabilize new memory traces, which would otherwise be lost. Exercise is at the start of this sequence because it is accompanied by the release of dopamine and norepinephrine.

The study was conducted with 72 people split into three groups. All three groups were shown images and were asked to study and recall them. The first group exercised after four hours, the second exercised immediately after the lesson, and the third group did not exercise.

MRI scans of the first group scored an average of 87 percent compared to the other two groups which scored an average of 80 percent on average. The researchers concluded that appropriately-timed exercise can improve long-term memory and highlight the potential of exercise as an intervention in education and clinical settings.

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