Physical Exercise

Suk Yu Yau, A. Patten, Z. Sharp, B. R. Christie

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Mounting evidence from animal and human studies has shown that long-term physical exercise elicits beneficial effects on cognition, which is likely to be partly mediated by increased adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Animal studies have revealed that the intensity, type, and duration of exercise training, as well as the animal strain, species age, and gender, can alter the effect of exercise on cognition as well as neurogenesis. Understanding the relationships between cognitive benefit from physical exercise and these variables will be critical for producing reliably beneficial effects of exercise in humans. In this chapter, we discuss how these variables influence the effect of physical exercise on hippocampal neurogenesis, and some of the possible mechanisms behind the benefits of exercise. We also emphasize cognitive benefits derived from physical training in clinical subjects and the updated findings about the optimal dosage of exercise prescription for improving cognitive function across the life span.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus
Subtitle of host publicationHealth, Psychopathology, and Brain Disease
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780128019924
ISBN (Print)9780128019771
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Exercise dosage
  • Hippocampal neurogenesis
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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