Oxygen availability correlates to brain health and cognitive performance. Tracy A. Cameron, from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and colleagues assessed a group of 52 healthy young women for the role of regular engagement in physical activity on oxygen availability in the anterior frontal region of the brain – the area involved in completing difficult cognitive tasks. The researchers observed that: “Analyses positively linked chronic physical activity level with anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin and cognitive inhibitory control … In addition, higher anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin was linked to better performance for the most difficult cognitive task.” Observing that: “regular physical activity may lead to hemodynamic and cognitive benefits,” the study authors submit that: “the current discovery of a relationship with [chronic physical activity level] may provide important insight toward understanding exercise-cognition links.”
Tracy A. Cameron, Samuel J. E. Lucas, Liana Machado. “Near-infrared spectroscopy reveals link between chronic physical activity and anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin in healthy young women.” Psychophysiology, 11 Dec. 2014.