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By Vincent Smith, Health Sciences; Luke Manis, Health Sciences
Advisor: Susan Kotowski
Presentation ID: PM_B44
Abstract: Research has shown that aerobic exercise has a positive correlation with improved brain function in modes such as decision making, working memory and overall cognitive performance. These claims are made due to findings of increased basal ganglia and hippocampal volume in students after completing exercise. The hippocampus and basal ganglia in the brain are areas of major importance for brain function and behavior. Our study hopes to give evidence to the connection between overall cardiovascular fitness and academic achievement. This particular project aimed to show that improved cardiovascular fitness through routine exercise can increase academic performance not only immediately after exercise but also continuously throughout one's life. The population used in this study consisted of individuals 18 years or older. Participants in the study underwent a baseline multiplication timed math test. Following this, the participants were asked to complete various 8 minute exercise routines, consisting of an aerobic treadmill walk/run, resistance weight exercise of bench press and squating, and a meditation exercise of a beginner's yoga video. After the completion of each of these exercise routines the participant was asked to give their rating of perceived exertion, while also completing a similar multiplication time test. After the completion of all exercise routines, with one exercise routine limit a day, the scores and completion times of the math tests were analyzed to determine the effect that each form of exercise had on the cognitive abilities of the participant.