About this Research Topic
The human brain adapts to changing demands by altering its functional and structural properties which results in learning and acquiring skills. Convergent evidence from both human and animal studies suggests that enhanced physical exercise facilitates changes of certain brain structures and as a result the behavior. This Research Topic focuses on several aspects of physical exercise. Physical activity refers to body movement that leads to energy expenditure and is initiated by skeletal muscles. Exercise has been previously defined as a disturbance of homeostasis through muscle activity resulting in movement and increased energy expenditure. The critical difference between both terms refers to the planned and structured nature of exercise.
This Research Topic entitled “Neuromodulation of Exercise: Impact on Different Kinds of Behavior” is being proposed in a very challenging time. The pandemic nature of mental health problems like anxiety and depression in combination with the costs and time associated with cognitive psychotherapy as well as the potential side effects of various drugs used in the treatment of such diseases stipulate the search for a potent cure. Provided with positive attributes exercise or physical activity could be the treatment of choice if it would be found to be effective and applicable in treating as well as preventing mental diseases. There is evidence linking increased physical exercise with an enhancement of neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, angiogenesis and the release of neurotrophins as well as neuroendocrinological changes which correlate with beneficial behavioral, cognitive as well as fine motor effects. However, the effectiveness of exercise or physical activity as a mental health intervention is not universally acknowledged nor perfectly understood. Still little is known about the exercise-mental health relationship regarding physiological mechanisms. Future studies are strongly needed that more closely investigate the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of any physical activity or exercise related intervention.
We invite investigators to contribute articles that will add findings to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of physical exercise which result in behavioral consequences. This can be acute or chronic physical activity as well as acute or chronic physical exercise (e.g. training). We are interested in articles describing the effects of exercise on healthy individuals of different ages and psychiatric patients as well as on animal research. Potential article types include, but are not limited to: systematic reviews, meta-analyses and original research articles and can include crossectional, longitudinal as well as interventional studies.
• Comparison between exercise, physical activity and other types of interventions to treat mental diseases as well as to enhance cognitive functioning.
• Physical activity as well as exercise interacts with neurotrophic factor and endocrine levels to predict neurobiological functioning in patients.
• How effective is the combination of physical and cognitive interventions. Might the training result in a mutual enhancement of both interventions?
• Searching for possible neuromodulators of exercise or physical activity on mental health.
• Age-related effects of exercise or physical activity on neuromodulation.
• Effect of hormones (e.g. GH, leptin, insulin, cortisol, ...) on muscular development.
Keywords: Exercise, Physical activity, Brain, Behaviour, Mental health, Hormones
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.