A new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has revealed that aerobic activity can boost learning and memory in 9-10-year-old kids. It is even more effective when initial learning on a task is more challenging.
A panel of researchers, led by Lauren Raine, asked 48 children aged nine to ten to memorise names and locations on a fictitious map, either only by studying the information or being tested on the material as they studied. When the kids were asked to recollect the information they studied, children who were fitter performed better than those who were not as fit. They also found that when the method used is more challenging, the higher levels of aerobic fitness can benefit learning and memory.
Previous studies have suggested that combining testing and study improves later recall in children, and is less challenging than studying alone. Based on the findings, researchers suggest that fitness levels may have a major part in learning and memory. This also suggests that the findings may be important from an educational policy perspective.
The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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