Physical activity and neural correlates of aging: A combined TMS/fMRI study

Keith M. McGregor, Zvinka Zlatar, Erin Kleim, Atchar Sudhyadhom, Andrew Bauer, Stephanie Phan, Lauren Seeds, Anastasia Ford, Todd M. Manini, Keith D. White, Jeffrey Kleim, Bruce Crosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Aerobic exercise has been suggested to ameliorate aging-related decline in humans. Recently, evidence has indicated chronological aging is associated with decreases in measures of interhemispheric inhibition during unimanual movements, but that such decreases may be mitigated by long-term physical fitness. The present study investigated measures of ipsilateral (right) primary motor cortex activity during right-hand movements using functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Healthy, right-handed participant groups were comprised of 12 sedentary older adults, 12 physically active older adults, and 12 young adults. Active older adults and younger adults evidenced longer ipsilateral silent periods (iSP) and less positive BOLD of ipsilateral motor cortex (iM1) as compared to sedentary older adults. Across groups, duration of iSP from TMS was inversely correlated with BOLD activity in iM1 during unimanual movement. These findings suggest that increased physical activity may have a role in decreasing aging-related losses of interhemispheric inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-168
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 12 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • FMRI
  • Interhemispheric communication
  • Physical activity
  • TMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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