Intrigued by recent findings that neuron firing rates in the regions of mouse and fly brains associated with visual processing increase during physical activity, UC Santa Barbara psychologists Barry Giesbrecht
and Tom Bullock
wanted to know if the same might be true for the human brain.
To find out, they designed an experiment using behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques to explore the ways in which brief bouts of physical exercise impact human performance and underlying neural activity. The researchers found that low-intensity exercise boosted activation in the visual cortex, the part of the cerebral cortex that plays an important role in processing visual information.