CAN EXERCISE CHANGE YOUR BRAIN?
The goal of this course is to explore the effects of exercise on attention, cognition and memory.
We approach this goal in two inter-related ways.
- First, weekly lectures cover the history of the study of environment enrichment, motor skill learning and exercise on the brain’s anatomy, physiology and function.
- The second component is experimental in which students become research subjects in a semester-long experiment that will test the hypothesis that exercise can significantly enhance learning memory cognition and mood in healthy young adults. To address this question, Professor Suzuki will lead students in an hour-long high impact aerobic exercise session at the beginning of each class period. The students in this class and a control group of students in a non-exercising elective class will be given a set of cognitive tests at the beginning and at the end of the semester. The students in the Exercise class will analyze this data to determine if exercise had any effects on their cognitive performance.
Students will leave the course with a deep understanding of both the neurobiology of exercise as well as the major features and possible pitfalls of experimental design in neuroscience.
“This was a phenomenal class! Great job Wendy. I loved every minute of it and can say that this was not only my favorite neural science course, but my favorite course at NYU.“
"This class was totally different from anything I have ever taken at NYU. I think it is such an innovative concept, and it is very clear that Professor Suzuki put an incredible amount of work and passion into organizing it. This class gave me first hand experience with designing my own novel scientific experiment, which I have never done before. This was an extremely challenging (and at times frustrating) task. However, it provided me with an invaluable learning experience, as it forced me to really discuss my thoughts and ideas with Professor Suzuki, and more importantly my peers, who were able to offer me some incredible insights and advice. It is clear that Professor Suzuki enjoys teaching, and she has taught me the importance of being able to approach science with innovation creativity, and confidence. She is truly an inspiration to have in class."
“This class was absolutely amazing. Definitely my favorite neural science elective. Wendy is very inspiring and encouraging without lowering her expectations - her goal is to teach you how to be a scientist and utilize the ton of information you already had to memorize. Totally awesome class, hope she teaches it forever!"