The relationship between aerobic capacity and gray matter volume of anterior insular cortex and mental health in healthy young adults

Hiroomi Sensui, Yuichi Nakahara-Gondoh, Toshiya Nagamatsu, Toshihiko Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previously, we reported the possibility that aerobic exercise training preserve the gray matter volume of anterior insular cortex (AIC) even in healthy young adult. Because aerobic exercise training simultaneously improved mental health, we hypothesized that psychological benefit of exercise was associated with AIC, which is considered to yield subjective feelings by integrating sensory input from the body. In the present study, we examined the correlation analysis between aerobic capacity and regional brain gray matter volume to examine the relationship between exercise and AIC. In addition, the relationship between gray matter volume of AIC and indices of mental health were also examined. Right handed university students (80 males and 21 females) were participated in the present study. After the acquisition of high resolution T1 MRI image, subjects completed self-reported questionnaires measuring mental health (generalized self-efficacy, self-acceptance, subjective happiness and development of identity). Then, VO2max was estimated using an incremental submaximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer. The relationship between regional gray matter volume and VO2max was analyzed using optimized voxelbased morphometry (VBM) technique. If the significantly correlated cluster was observed in AIC, the relationship between the cluster value and indices of mental health were examined. The VBM analysis showed significant correlation between VO2max and regional gray matter volume of left AIC (positive correlation) and striate cortex (negative correlation). The gray matter volume of left AIC was also correlated with indices of mental health (positive correlation with self-acceptance of physical area and subjective happiness). The results of this study suggest that exercise influences the AIC structure, which maybe associated with psychological benefit of exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the Physical Fitness Research Institute
Issue number111
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 1

Keywords

  • Insula
  • Maximal oxygen uptake
  • Psychological well-being.
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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