Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise, mental development may be linked

Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A potential link between the genetic pre-disposition for high levels of exercise motivation and the speed at which mental maturation occurs has been found by researchers. These scientists studied the brains of the rats and found much higher levels of neural maturation in the brains of the active rats than in the brains of the lazy rats.

University of Missouri researchers have previously shown that a genetic pre-disposition to be more or less motivated to exercise exists. In a new study, Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, has found a potential link between the genetic pre-disposition for high levels of exercise motivation and the speed at which mental maturation occurs.

Related Articles


For his study, Booth selectively bred rats that exhibited traits of either extreme activity or extreme laziness. Booth then put the rats in cages with running wheels and measured how much each rat willingly ran on their wheels during a six-day period. He then bred the top 26 runners with each other and bred the 26 rats that ran the least with each other. They repeated this process through 10 generations and found that the line of running rats chose to run 10 times more than the line of "lazy" rats.

Booth studied the brains of the rats and found much higher levels of neural maturation in the brains of the active rats than in the brains of the lazy rats.

"We looked at the part of the brain known as the 'grand central station,' or the hub where the brain is constantly sending and receiving signals," Booth said. "We found a big difference between the amount of molecules present in the brains of active rats compared to the brains of lazy rats. This suggests that the active rats were experiencing faster development of neural pathways than the lazy rats."

Booth says these findings may suggest a link between the genes responsible for exercise motivation and the genes responsible for mental development. He also says this research hints that exercising at a young age could help develop more neural pathways for motivation to be physically active.

"This study illustrates a potentially important link between exercise and the development of these neural pathways," Booth said. "Ultimately, this could show the benefits of exercise for mental development in humans, especially young children with constantly growing brains."

Booth's study, "Nucleus accumbens neuronal maturation differences in young rats bred for low versus high voluntary running behavior," was published in the Journal of Physiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. D. Roberts, R. G. Toedebusch, K. D. Wells, J. M. Company, J. D. Brown, C. L. Cruthirds, A. J. Heese, C. Zhu, G. E. Rottinghaus, T. E. Childs, F. W. Booth. Nucleus accumbens neuronal maturation differences in young rats bred for low versus high voluntary running behavior. The Journal of Physiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.268805

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise, mental development may be linked." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415125659.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2014, April 15). Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise, mental development may be linked. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415125659.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise, mental development may be linked." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415125659.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins