Researchers from the University of Arizona have claimed that running can affect the brain structure and function. The scientists have done an MRI scan that shows runners' brains have greater functional connectivity than the brains of more sedentary individuals. For the researchers, the scientists have compared the scan of young people around the world who are engaged in running and who do not do running on regular basis.
The scientists found that the runners have the greater functional connectivity. The connection between different brain areas within several areas of the brain such as frontal cortex has good functional connectivity. The scientists suggested that the frontal cortex plays an important role in cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making and the ability to switch attention between tasks.
However, further study is needed to identify whether these physical differences in brain connectivity result in differences in cognitive functioning, said the scientists. The researchers added that this study can help them to understand better how exercise affects the brain, particularly in young adults.