Physical exercise boost brain training effects

There exists already a large body of research showing the benefits of cognitive training. In addition, the effects of physical fitness on brain health have been widely documented. Studies that are more recent have shown that also by stimulating the brain with a non-invasive method called transcranial direct current stimulation, performance in cognitive tasks can be improved.

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With so many possibilities to enhance cognitive performance, could the effects actually be potentiated by combining brain training with physical exercises and brain stimulation?

New study shows: The more the better

Researchers from the University of Illinois asked this question and set out to search for the most efficient training intervention in boosting cognitive performance. They recruited 188 participants and divided them into three groups: a group that attended only cognitive training (unimodal training group), a group that attended cognitive and physical fitness training (multimodal training group 1), and a group that combined cognitive training, physical fitness training, and a non-invasive brain stimulation (multimodal training group 2). The training course for all groups lasted for 16 weeks.

The results showed that all groups improved their performance in the course of training. However, the combined training groups outperformed the unimodal group, with the combination of all three methods being the most effective intervention in improving performance. The authors conclude that while cognitive training is beneficial as such, the effects can be promoted even further by taking care of one’s physical fitness.

Physically and mentally fit – here is the deal

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