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MRI brain

Project Overview

  • How does physical exercise improve brain functions?
  • It is scientific evidence that physical exercise can enhance academic/cognifive performance.
  • What is not known is the specific changes in the brain that are resulted from physical activities.
  • It is not known whether such changes in the braini are resulted from mere aerobic activities or more specific physical performance in skill sets.


  • If physical exercise can improve mental functions, what is the mind-body connection that promotes such improvements?
  • Are the effects differ for children from adults?
  • Can physical exercise improve not just cognitive abilities but also emotional mood state?
  • If so, how can effective is physical exercise in treatingmood disorders?

Research Objectives

  • We want to find out what physical exercise can enhance specifically what mental performance.
  • We want to determine how such aerobic activities improve cognitive functions.
  • We want to identify the specific changes in the brain as a result of physical exercise.
  • We want to find out if the exercise-induced changes in brain functions are associated with age, i.e., children vs. adolescents vs. adults.
  • We want to find out if physical exercise can improve mood adn emotional functions mentally.

Specific Goals

  • Determine the key variables of physical exercise that will enhance brain functions, i.e., what types of exercise.
  • Determine the key variables of mental performance improvement, i.e., specifically what cognitive enhancements are.
  • Determine the neural correlates of the changes in the brain resulted from physical exercises.
  • Determine age-related changes in brain functions associated with physical activities.
  • Determine changes in emotional mood that are correlated with aerobic activities.

The Challenge

  • Which types of exercise will improve mental performance and which type does not?
  • Which type of cognitive performance is enhanced and which type does not?
  • How does physical exercise translate into mental performance improvements?
  • What changes are involved in the brain that are resulted from increased physical activities?
  • Does the skills set acquired in physical exercise translate into similar skill sets mentally?

The Solutions

  • Determine the variables in physical activities that are correlated with variables associated with the improved mental performance.
  • Identify the neural correlates using optical imaging and EEG activities that are associated with skilled/motivated physical exercise vs. aerobic exercise without any skill sets.