Research article Special Issues

The association of self-reported physical activity on human sensory long-term potentiation

  • Received: 17 April 2021 Accepted: 20 May 2021 Published: 24 May 2021
  • Exercise has been shown to enhance synaptic plasticity, therefore, potentially affecting memory. While the mechanism(s) responsible for this relationship have been explored in animal models, current research suggests that exercise may possess the ability to induce synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). Most of the LTP mechanistic work has been conducted in animal models using invasive procedures. For that reason, the purpose of the present experiment was to investigate whether self-reported exercise is related to human sensory LTP-like responses. Nineteen participants (MAGE = 24 years; 52.6% male) completed the study. Long-term potentiation-like responses were measured by incorporating a non-invasive method that assess the change in potentiation of the N1b component produced from the visual stimulus paradigm presented bilaterally in the visual field. Results demonstrated that those with higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) had a greater N1b change from baseline to the early time period assessment, r = −0.43, p = 0.06. Our findings provide some suggestive evidence of an association between self-reported MVPA and LTP-like responses. Additional work is needed to support that the potentiation of the human sensory N1b component in the observed study is due to the exercise-induced synaptic changes similar to that detailed in prior animal research.

    Citation: Damien Moore, Paul D Loprinzi. The association of self-reported physical activity on human sensory long-term potentiation[J]. AIMS Neuroscience, 2021, 8(3): 435-447. doi: 10.3934/Neuroscience.2021023

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  • Exercise has been shown to enhance synaptic plasticity, therefore, potentially affecting memory. While the mechanism(s) responsible for this relationship have been explored in animal models, current research suggests that exercise may possess the ability to induce synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). Most of the LTP mechanistic work has been conducted in animal models using invasive procedures. For that reason, the purpose of the present experiment was to investigate whether self-reported exercise is related to human sensory LTP-like responses. Nineteen participants (MAGE = 24 years; 52.6% male) completed the study. Long-term potentiation-like responses were measured by incorporating a non-invasive method that assess the change in potentiation of the N1b component produced from the visual stimulus paradigm presented bilaterally in the visual field. Results demonstrated that those with higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) had a greater N1b change from baseline to the early time period assessment, r = −0.43, p = 0.06. Our findings provide some suggestive evidence of an association between self-reported MVPA and LTP-like responses. Additional work is needed to support that the potentiation of the human sensory N1b component in the observed study is due to the exercise-induced synaptic changes similar to that detailed in prior animal research.



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    1 NMDA receptor saturation is a period in which all receptors are successfully occupied with the neurotransmitter glutamate.

    2 NMDA receptor longevity reflects the length of time the ligand is bound to the receptor(s) before the ligand disassociates, reducing the activity/function of the receptors.

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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