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Brain in Motion

The Canadian population is aging fast and living longer - according to Statistics Canada (2015), our country now has more people over 65 years than kids less than 15 years.  With this bulge in population aging, the increase in the incidence and prevalence of cerebrovascular diseases in the next decades will have a major impact on our economy, our health care system, and especially on the quality of life for our aging population and their families. Previous research by our group and others has shown that older adults who are more physically active and who have higher fitness levels also have better cognitive function, including better memory and thinking skills. Here at the University of Calgary we have assembled an interdisciplinary team of experts to conduct the Brain in Motion project, which aims to discover the “WHY” underlying this association, and to shed some light on the mechanisms by which exercise confers a protective effect on cognition. The Brain in Motion study focuses on how lifestyle interventions (exercise, diet) impact sleep and cognition, and we are probing the underlying biological mechanisms using a translational physiology approach (i.e., ranging from the study of genes to the population level).

Details on the Brain-in-Motion study:

Brain-in-Motion study publications

Latest findings on Twitter:


Recent News

November, 2015
Trainee Stephanie Gill’s publication in the Journal of International Neuropsychological Society (JINS)

Trainee Stephanie Gill’s paper titled “Association between Lifetime Physical Activity and Cognitive Functioning in Middle-Aged and Older Community Dwelling Adults: Results from the Brain in Motion Study” has been published in the special issue ‘Physical Activity and Brain Plasticity’ in JINS. This is Stephanie’s first publication as a first author and is based on research from her Master’s of Science thesis work – Congrats Stephanie! 



October, 2015
Brain in Motion research represented at the Society for Neuroscience convention

Trainees Dr. Lauren Drogos, Stephanie Gill and Amanda Tyndall presented their research at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference. All three trainees were working on the Brain in Motion Study. Amanda presented on the metabolic syndrome and cerebral blood flow. Stephanie Gill presented her thesis work on lifetime physical activity and cognitive performance. Finally, Dr. Drogos presented her data on lifetime cognitive activity and current cognitive performance.