We examined the acute effect of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in older adults using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Fourteen older adults visited our laboratory twice: once for exercise and once for the control condition. On each visit, subjects performed working memory tasks before and after moderate intensity exercise with a cycling ergo-meter. We measured the NIRS response at the prefrontal cortex during the working memory task. We found that physical exercise improved behavioral performance of the working memory task compared with the control condition. Moreover, NIRS analysis showed that physical exercise enhanced the prefrontal cortex activity, especially in the left hemisphere, during the working memory task. These findings suggest that the moderate intensity exercise enhanced the prefrontal cortex activity associated with working memory performance in older adults.
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This study was supported by funds of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), under Strategic Promotion of Innovative Research and Development Program and by the fund for Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research (B) and Young Scientist (B23300247) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) in Japan.
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