International Journal of Exercise Science 5(3) : 245-275, 2012. The consummate principle underlying all physiological research is corporeal adaptation at every level of the organism observed. With respect to humans, the body learns to function based on the external stimuli from the environment, beginning in the womb, throughout the developmental stages of life. Nitric Oxide (NO) appears to be the governor of the plasticity of several systems in mammals implicit in their proper development. It is the purpose of this review to describe the physiological pathways that lead to plasticity of not only the vasculature but also of the brain and how physical activity plays a key role in those alterations by initiating the mechanism that triggers NO production. Further, this review hopes to show a connection between these changes and learning, comprising both motor learning and cognitive learning. This review will show how NO plays a significant role in vascularization and neurogenesis, necessary to enhance the mind-body connection and comprehensive physical performance and adaptation. It is our belief that this review effectively demonstrates, using a multidisciplinary approach, the causal mechanisms underlying the increases in neurogenesis as related to improved learning and academic performance as a result of adequate bouts of physical activity of a vigorous nature.
Hunt, Samuel and Navalta, James W.
"Nitric Oxide and the Biological Cascades Underlying Increased Neurogenesis, Enhanced Learning Ability, and Academic Ability as an Effect of Increased Bouts of Physical Activity,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 5
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol5/iss3/8