"30 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Supercharges Semantic Memory"

“30 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Supercharges Semantic Memory”

As the authors explain, “A single 10-minute bout of very light-intensity exercise (30% VO2 max effort) results in rapid enhancement in pattern separation and an increase in functional connectivity between hippocampal DG/CA3 and cortical regions (i.e., parahippocampal, angular, and fusiform gyri). These results suggest that brief, very light exercise rapidly enhances hippocampal memory function.”

Increasingly, the holy grail for neuroscientists studying the brain benefits of exercise is to dial in on the optimal “dose” (intensity × duration) of cardiovascular exercise or easy/light movement that is required to elicit various cognitive outcomes in the short- and long-term.

This week, a new study from the University of Maryland, “Semantic Memory Activation After Acute Exercise in Healthy Older Adults,” was published online ahead of print in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society . This research advances our understanding of the dose-response needed to activate brain circuits associated with semantic memory. Generally speaking, this refers to memories that relate to language, words, and names.

30 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Supercharges Semantic Memory




Does one exercise before or after knowledge and/or language acquisition to see benefits?

Id imagine before and after(after review 1) and maybe during if the session is long.

You could read the paper to see how they did it.

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I’d be interested to learn about what light exercises people find helpful for alertness and memory performance

Many thanks for posting this link.

I’m too poor to be able to afford the price.

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I’d be interested to learn about what light exercises people find helpful for alertness and memory performance

TaiChi or Qigong!! Not sure about Yoga! But because TaiChi is a slow movement exercise, which also enhances attention span of the practitioner due to its meditative nature, I find TaiChi very energetic and helpful for attention and memory!

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Heh. It’s openly available. For the price of a mouse click.

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definitely works for me! I do around 30 minutes of aquafit in the pool and right after I am EASILY twice as fast and clear in the head at creating my loci and recalling, these days for Spanish dialogue.

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I don’t have data at hand but I generally buy into this idea. I think it’s common sense. I think we are slowly recovering from an ancient bias that the mind can only be explained by recourse to magic.

My own experience with sickness and at times profound exhaustion, has demonstrated to me how much cognitive power depends on physical resources.

I am fortunate that so far, at age 69, I do not notice a significant decline in my cognitive abilities. This may be just luck and genetics but I’ve always been physically active, hiking, martial arts, woodworking and even though my physical capacity has declined significantly, I haven’t lost my interest and I still do those kinds of things. I take up new skills challenges on a regular basis. I make a point of staying fit enough to be able to do what I’m interested in.

I notice the tendency as people age is to withdraw from this kind of activity. The result is accelerated physical decline and susceptibility to injury. But I think, more perniciously, it induces a kind of withdrawal from the world and a greatly reduced mental engagement. People end up withdrawing to a safer but smaller world where there are fewer challenges and novelty.

As I say, this is anecdotal speculation and definitely self congratulatory but I do believe that physical engagement greatly enhances mental engagement. It’s not just a matter of condition, it’s stepping beyond the comfort zone that stimulates the brain and the body. My policy in sports has long been “Scare yourself just a little”


Go for a walk, solve the world’s problems. I concur.

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Please give me various examples of aerobic exercises.

There are some examples in the original article:

It mentions some studies that used yoga, tai chi, and cycling (though I’m not sure if the first two would be considered “aerobic” if they are done slowly). Other examples of aerobic exercise are brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or anything that increases breathing and heart rates.

See the section on “How to Gauge Exercise Intensity Using Color-Coded Exertion Levels and ‘Talk Tests’” to gauge the intensity of a workout.


This is a good video on exercise


I’m too lazy to go the gym. If I do go, I’m too tired to do anything. But I’m fairly fit for my youth. I think I boasted elsewhere that my GP told me I had the blood pressure of a teenager, and the blood tests of a 30-year-old. (I think that post was hidden. I don’t blame them.)

At home, I do a series of 20-rep exercises, with no comfort breaks in between.

I use a latex exerciser. It’s set to either 2-strands or 1-strand - whichever configuration will give me FAST aerobic reps rather than the slower, strength-building reps.

The exerciser gives me seven exercises. (1-arm exercises such as the curl counts as two exercises.)

The other exercises are knee press-ups (“push-ups” by our US cousins), and two exercises using a fairly low seat - such as a sofa.

The first is a semi-squat, in which I stand up and sit down. But the “sitting” is only a slight touch at the back of the thighs.

In the second sofa exercise, I sit all the way back and raise both legs simultaneously to knee-height. I used to do alternate single legs - which I could raise much higher. But I saw on the internet that because of some peculiarity in the joining of the hips and spine, that movement is not recommended. Sit-ups are OK, because both legs are in the same attitude - rather than opposing attitudes. But I have no way of holding my feet down. I tried the cat - but it’s too light and too stupid.

I used to experiment with walking rapidly up stairs. But I felt that the (necessary) downward part was too similar to a “rest”, which defeated my goal of non-stop exercise.

I try to do 20 reps in all the above exercises. In some cases, that means gradually shortening the stroke of a movement when I get tired - in order to maintain the same rhythm. For example, with the knee press-ups, I start with my nose punching nose-shaped indentations in the wood. But towards the end, my head gradually lowers less and less, until I’m doing 1/4-inch press-ups. Nobody’s perfect.

The entire routine is repeated - again with no breaks. The total time varies - but can be from 8-9 minutes.

Added: I checked my pulse just now, after sitting at laptop for a few minutes - no photographs or videos. My pulse was 57 bpm. That might explain why my natural rhythm for reps is 1 per second.


I also do a kind tabata (just any exercise but with max effort)from time to time, it really increases my oxigen intake and clarity of mind even if I do just a mere 2 minutes. beware,its a drug. Sometimes its that or dark chocolate :chocolate_bar: