Exercise and Cognitive Function

Experimenter: C.J. Brush & Peter Ehmann

Contact: ruexpsych@gmail.com


Depression affects about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population annually and is a high cost to society. The proposed intervention, based on human and animal laboratory research, uses aerobic exercise as a treatment for individuals suffering from depression. The aim of this project is to establish the efficacy of an 8-week exercise intervention in improving fitness and cognitive control while ameliorating depression. These findings may add significantly to the current understanding of behavioral interventions for the treatment of depression. This intervention can be self-administered and may also result in additional health benefits (e.g., enhanced mood and neurocognitive changes) and could be widely disseminated to the public.


Current Studies

Physical Activity and Work Performance

Experimenter: Shivang Bhatt

Contact: shivangb@scarletmail.rutgers.edu


This study focuses on the relationship between physical activity and cognitive function while completing workplace activities at a treadmill desk. The total time commitment for the study involves 3 visits, each lasting approximately 60-70 minutes each. During the first session, participants will complete a series of questionnaires and tasks, while becoming familiar with using the treadmill desk. At the end of session 1, participants will also complete a fitness test. During the second and third sessions, participants will either walk or sit at the treadmill desk, while performing various workplace tasks. Participants will be compensated up to $40 for their time and participation. 


Specific Requirements: Healthy adults between the ages of 18-30 and 40-65 years of age.

MAP Training

Experimenter: Emma Millon

Contact: shorslab@gmail.com


MAP Training stands for "mental" and "physical" training. This training program was inspired by laboratory studies on hippocampal neurogenesis conducted by Dr. Tracey Shors and others. It is well established that aerobic exercise produces more new neurons and effortful learning keeps many of the cells alive in the hippocampal formation in animal models. We hypothesize that the combination of these two activities could be useful in improving brain health and psychological functioning in humans. We have loosely adopted meditation as an effortful mental training program along with aerobic exercise. Currently, we are investigating the effects of MAP Training in women.


"Mens Sana in Corpore Sano"

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Exercise Psychophysiology Lab

Department of Kinesiology and Health

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

70 Lipman Drive

New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525

Phone: 848-932-7028

Fax: 732-932-9151


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