Date: 3 February 2023
Speaker: Daniel Sanabria Lucena, Universidad de Granada
This talk discusses evidence of the neural and cognitive functioning during physical exercise, together with an in-depth review of the alleged effects of regular exercise on cognitive performance in healthy individuals across the life span. In the first part of the talk, physical exercise at moderate-high intensity is framed as a strain state that induces cognitive and neural adaptations, similar to that occurring during drowsiness, at the opposite end of the arousal continuum. Behavioural and neural data, both from univariate and multivariate EEG analyses, will show how the brain adapts to increase physical demands and arousal.
When repeated over long periods of time, sessions of moderate-to-high physical exercise are thought to induce permanent adaptations at the neural level, that results in improved cognition. The next part of the talk will review that literature, showing that the current evidence does not support the claims regarding the cognitive benefits of the regular practice of physical exercise.
Daniel Sanabria is full professor at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Granada, and leads the Human Brain and Cognition research group at the Mind, Brain & Behavior research center. The group is interested in different topics, from the cognitive, neural and phenomenological underpinnings of strain states such as high intensity physical exercise, to the study of mood variability. They employ behavioral measures of performance and subjective experience, together with electroencephalography.