Kirk I. Erickson

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The hippocampus shrinks in late adulthood, leading to impaired memory and increased risk for dementia. Hippocampal and medial temporal lobe volumes are larger in higher-fit adults, and physical activity training increases hippocampal perfusion, but the extent to which aerobic exercise training can modify hippocampal volume in late adulthood remains unknown.(More)
Cardiovascular fitness is thought to offset declines in cognitive performance, but little is known about the cortical mechanisms that underlie these changes in humans. Research using animal models shows that aerobic training increases cortical capillary supplies, the number of synaptic connections, and the development of new neurons. The end result is a(More)
BACKGROUND The present study examined whether aerobic fitness training of older humans can increase brain volume in regions associated with age-related decline in both brain structure and cognition. METHODS Fifty-nine healthy but sedentary community-dwelling volunteers, aged 60-79 years, participated in the 6-month randomized clinical trial. Half of the(More)
An emerging body of multidisciplinary literature has documented the beneficial influence of physical activity engendered through aerobic exercise on selective aspects of brain function. Human and non-human animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise can improve a number of aspects of cognition and performance. Lack of physical activity, particularly(More)
Several recent studies of aging and cognition have attributed decreases in the efficiency of working memory processes to possible declines in attentional control, the mechanism(s) by which the brain attempts to limit its processing to that of task-relevant information. Here we used fMRI measures of neural activity during performance of the color-word Stroop(More)
BACKGROUND The human brain gradually loses tissue from the third decade of life onward, with concomitant declines in cognitive performance. Given the projected rapid growth in aged populations, and the staggering costs associated with geriatric care, identifying mechanisms that may reduce or reverse cerebral deterioration is rapidly emerging as an important(More)
Stuttering is a developmental speech disorder that occurs in 5% of children with spontaneous remission in approximately 70% of cases. Previous imaging studies in adults with persistent stuttering found left white matter deficiencies and reversed right-left asymmetries compared to fluent controls. We hypothesized that similar differences might be present(More)
A number of studies have suggested that attentional control skills required to perform 2 tasks concurrently become impaired with age (A. A. Hartley, 1992; J. M. McDowd & R. J. Shaw, 2000). A. A. Hartley (2001) recently observed that the age-related differences in dual-task performance were larger when the 2 tasks required similar motor responses. The(More)
Deterioration of the hippocampus occurs in elderly individuals with and without dementia, yet individual variation exists in the degree and rate of hippocampal decay. Determining the factors that influence individual variation in the magnitude and rate of hippocampal decay may help promote lifestyle changes that prevent such deterioration from taking place.(More)
OBJECTIVES Physical activity (PA) has been hypothesized to spare gray matter volume in late adulthood, but longitudinal data testing an association has been lacking. Here we tested whether PA would be associated with greater gray matter volume after a 9-year follow-up, a threshold could be identified for the amount of walking necessary to spare gray matter(More)