Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Works for the Adult Brain Works for Children Too

Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Works for the Adult Brain Works for Children Too

Article excerpt

Children who are physically fit have been found to do better on tests of thinking than kids who are less fit. Researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that two parts of the brain are larger among fitter kids. One is the "basal ganglia," which helps maintain attention and "executive control, " the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply. The other is the "hippocampus," which is associated with more complex memory. Working together, these two parts of the brain allow some of our most intricate thinking.

A long-term study in Sweden reported that, among more than a million 18-year-old boys who joined the Swedish army, better fitness was correlated with higher IQs, even among identical twins. The fitter the twin, the higher his IQ. The fittest of the young men were also more successful in their careers than the least fit. …

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