Wendy Suzuki: The brain-changing benefits of exercise
Wendy Suzuki is researching the science behind the extraordinary, life-changing effects that physical activity can have on the most important organ in your body: your brain. Full bio
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that you can do right now
positive benefit for your brain
could actually last a long time
from different conditions
Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
of physical activity.
and protective benefits for your brain.
for the rest of your life.
is tell you a story
understanding of neuroscience,
the science underlying
is the most transformative thing
I know that our brains,
known to humankind.
to talk about the brain,
that we are going to talk about today.
right behind your forehead,
focus, attention and your personality.
in the temporal lobe, shown right here.
the right and the left,
is a key structure
memories for facts and events.
is called the hippocampus.
with the hippocampus.
that lasts just a moment,
that has changed your brain,
the activity of individual brain cells
those brief bursts of electrical activity,
communicate with each other,
to form a new memory, or did not.
I did something very unusual in science.
my research program.
that was so amazing,
the brain-changing effects of exercise.
of all the memory work that I was doing --
for all of this memory work.
It was, scientifically.
out of my lab door,
listening to those brain cells
many years to realize it,
by myself, because I had no social life.
I was the weakest person on that trip."
like the weakest person
classes at the gym.
dance, yoga, step class,
sweat-inducing workout that I tried,
and this great energy boost.
going back to the gym.
I even lost that 25 pounds.
into this regular exercise program
made me sit up and take notice.
writing a research grant,
through my mind before.
always laugh when I say that,
pulling your hair out,
the grant-writing was going well,
to focus and maintain my attention
what I was studying in my own lab --
that I had included and added to my life
without even knowing it.
what I could find about what we knew
of exercise on the brain.
and a growing literature
that I noticed in myself.
better memory, better attention.
how powerful exercise was.
led me to the big decision
of really focusing on this question,
the most transformative thing
immediate effects on your brain.
levels of neurotransmitters
right after that workout,
to shift and focus attention,
will last for at least two hours.
will improve your reaction times
at catching that cup of Starbucks
they help you right after.
increase your cardiorespiratory function,
changes the brain's anatomy,
brain area, the hippocampus.
produces brand new brain cells,
that actually increase its volume,
your long-term memory, OK?
in neuroscience studies,
dependent or your prefrontal cortex.
better focus and attention,
increases as well.
immediate effects of mood with exercise
in those good mood neurotransmitters.
that exercise will do
about the brain like a muscle.
and prefrontal cortex gets.
and the hippocampus
susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases
over your lifetime,
dementia or Alzheimer's disease,
is you're going to create
and prefrontal cortex
to actually have an effect.
where everybody says,
want to know one thing.
the minimum amount of exercise
the answer to that question.
a triathlete to get these effects.
three to four times a week exercise
you don't have to go to the gym
in your power walk.
as the aerobics class
workings of the brain,
can improve our brain function,
that I just gave you --
the optimum exercise prescription
at your fitness level,
and protect your brain the best
and it's another to do it.
as a certified exercise instructor,
just one minute of exercise.
just do what I do, say what I say,
your neighbor, OK?
it's right, left, right, left.
I am Wonder Woman-strong.
right and left, right and left.
exercise in your life
a happier, more protective life today,
from incurable diseases.
the trajectory of your life
ABOUT THE SPEAKERWendy Suzuki - Neuroscientist, author
Wendy Suzuki is researching the science behind the extraordinary, life-changing effects that physical activity can have on the most important organ in your body: your brain.
Why you should listen
Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University, an author, storyteller and fitness instructor. She received her undergraduate degree in physiology and human anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 studying with Prof. Marion C. Diamond, a leader in the field of brain plasticity. She went on to earn her PhDin Neuroscience from U.C. San Diego in 1993 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before accepting her faculty position at New York University in 1998.
Suzuki's major research interest continues to be brain plasticity. She is best known for her extensive work studying areas in the brain critical for our ability to form and retain new long-term memories. More recently, her work has focused on understanding how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory and higher cognitive abilities in humans. She is passionate about teaching, about exercise (intenSati) and about supporting and mentoring up and coming scientists.
Wendy Suzuki | Speaker | TED.com