Kaylan Williams

University of New Hampshire

Neuroscience & Behavior


Mentor: Dr. Robert Ross,  Department of Neuroscience & Behavior

The Effect Of Aerobic Exercise On Alpha And Beta Oscillations During Recognition Memory

As people age memories begin to fade, and hippocampal volume gradually degrades …but what if that can be slowed down? Whether someone is going on a walk, riding a bike, or even running a marathon, aerobic exercise has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Aerobic exercise has been linked to enhancing recognition memory, particularly in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) of the brain which includes the hippocampus, perirhinal, entorhinal, and parahippocampal cortices. An electroencephalogram (EEG) will be used to determine whether alpha and beta frequencies are desynchronized after exercising. The test will involve twenty-five non-athlete participants that will learn half the stimuli before exercising and the other half after exercising. The participants will be asked to learn and remember objects presented at fixation and whether the stimuli was previously presented on the left or right side of the screen. The exercise will involve riding on a bike ergometer for 15 minutes to achieve 40-60% maximum heart rate. Three days after encoding the stimuli, the participants will come back to the lab and be shown the old stimuli mixed in with new stimuli. They will be asked to indicate if the stimulus was old and presented on the left, old and presented on the right, or new. Performance for the items remembered between the exercise and non-exercise conditions will be compared as will alpha and beta oscillatory power. The expectation is that aerobic exercise will desynchronize alpha and beta oscillations to enhance recognition memory.


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