All About Running: Synaptic Plasticity, Growth Factors and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

  • Carmen Vivar
  • Michelle C. Potter
  • Henriette van PraagEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 15)


Accumulating evidence from animal and human research shows exercise benefits learning and memory, which may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and could delay age-related cognitive decline. Exercise-induced improvements in learning and memory are correlated with enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and increased activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. In this present chapter we will highlight the effects of physical activity on cognition in rodents, as well as on dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, spine density, neurotransmission and growth factors, in particular brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF).


Adult neurogenesis Dentate gyrus Running Learning and memory Neurotrophic factors Synaptic plasticity Endurance factors 



This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging, Intramural Research Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Vivar
    • 1
  • Michelle C. Potter
    • 1
  • Henriette van Praag
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuroplasticity and Behavior Unit, Laboratory of NeurosciencesNIA/NIH Biomedical Research CenterBaltimoreUSA

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