Cardiovascular fitness and cognitive spatial learning in rodents and in humans

Boaz Barak, Noa Feldman, Eitan Okun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association between cardiovascular fitness and cognitive functions in both animals and humans is intensely studied. Research in rodents shows that a higher cardiovascular fitness has beneficial effects on hippocampus-dependent spatial abilities, and the underlying mechanisms were largely teased out. Research into the impact of cardiovascular fitness on spatial learning in humans, however, is more limited, and involves mostly behavioral and imaging studies. Herein, we point out the state of the art in the field of spatial learning and cardiovascular fitness. The differences between the methodologies utilized to study spatial learning in humans and rodents are emphasized along with the neuronal basis of these tasks. Critical gaps in the study of spatial learning in the context of cardiovascular fitness between the two species are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1066
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Exercise
  • Hippocampus
  • Navigation
  • Spatial learning


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