A new study developed by Dutch scientists shows that physical effort can improve memory. Exercising four hours after learning can help people enhance their capacity to memorize information. During the experiment, those who did it performed better than the group who made some physical effort right after learning. Also, the same study shows that the results registered by the first group are better than the results recorded by the third group, formed of subjects who did not exercise at all after learning.
For this experiment, the researchers at the Donders Institute in Netherlands, an institution which is part of the Medical Center of Radboud University, enrolled 73 volunteers in perfect medical condition. The assignment was to learn 90 image-location associations in a time frame of 40 minutes. To start the experiment, the volunteers were divided into three different groups.
The first group had to perform physical effort immediately after learning, whereas the second group had to wait four hours after the learning session in order to carry out a similarly complicated set of exercises.
The third group didn`t make any effort prior or after the learning session.
Two days after the learning session, all three teams had to sit a test that verified the information they retained. During the test, their cerebral activity was monitored with the help of magnetic resonance imaging.
Following the test, the results revealed that those in the second group registered the best results, and those who made no effort at all came second. The lowest results were recorded by the participants belonging to the first group, those who made the effort right after the learning session.
The MRIs also showed that group number two had a more precise visual representation in their hippocampus when they got the answers correctly.
The Dutch team of experts also mentioned that the tests of those who made delayed physical exercises were on average 10% better than those of the group who did no exercises at all.
Following this test, one conclusion emerges, and it seems to be very clear: physical effort can improve memory if exercises are made four hours after the learning session. We can consolidate the information we want to remember and maximize through effort the outcome of time we spend learning.
However, despite the results, the team of researchers mentioned that it is still too early to establish if the physical effort can improve memory. According to them, this conclusion needs to be further verified.
Image Source: Pixabay