What are the immediate (acute) and long-term effects of physical activity on brain function and EEG activity? Our goal is to understand not only the immediate effects of a single exercise session but to understand how these immediate effects may build up to long-lasting, long-term brain benefits that have the potential to not only protect the brain from the negative cognitive and brain effects of aging but alleviate symptoms of the most common neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging.
EXERCISE IN HEALTHY YOUNG ADULTS
We are examining the immediate (acute) and long-term effects of exercise on both EEG signals and cognitive functions in high school and college students (Basso et al., 2015). Our goal is to identify the optimal exercise regime that maximally enhances brain function and academic performance. As part of the research theme we are also brining EEG and the neuroscience of exercise into under-served New York City schools to enhance STEM learning and provide teacher training to the next generation of scientists.
EXERCISE IN HEALTHY ADULTS AND BABY BOOMERS
We are currently examining the effects of three months of high intensity exercise in both low fit and medium fit adults to understand how exercise affects mood, attention, memory and creativity. We will soon target baby boomers to determine what kinds of physical exercise may provide the most effective and long-lasting mood and cognitive improvements in this population.
STUDIES IN PATIENT POPULATION GROUPS
Our first studies showed the positive effects of exercise of 8 weeks of increased exercise on mood in a population of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI; Lee et al) We are currently in the process of designing studies to examine the effect of physical exercise in a range of neurological conditions including depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s Disease.