Speed dating design research
It would be interesting to see if this holds for humans, for cerebellar forms of learning — and even for other types of learning," Carey said in a statement.
The authors conclude, “Our results suggest that locomotor activity modulates delay eyeblink conditioning through increased activation of the mossy fiber pathway within the cerebellum.
"The cerebellum is important for learning skilled movements.
It calibrates movements in the face of a changing environment to coordinate them in a very precise way," lead author, Megan Carey, said in a statement.
Carey is the principal investigator and group leader of the Neuroscience Program at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal.
Anectodal evidence also links physical activity with "Aha! For example, Albert Einstein famously said of E = mc, "I thought of that while riding my bicycle." Along this same line, Manish Saggar of Stanford University has found f MRI brain imaging evidence that enhanced cerebellum connectivity boosts creative capacity.Megan Carey's cerebellar research in Lisbon dovetails beautifully with research on the cerebellum being conducted by Jeremy Schmahmann at Harvard Medical School in Boston.Schmahmann's "Dysmetria of Thought" hypothesis posits that the cerebellum helps us coordinate our thoughts in much the same way it helps us coordinate our movements.Interestingly, when the researchers stimulated the mossy fibers using optogenetics, they observed enhanced learning on par with faster running speeds.Therefore, the researchers speculate that finding ways to directly stimulate mossy fiber activity might have the same benefits on associative learning as running.
Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. A child may carry out basic experiments to understand gravity, while teams of scientists may take years of systematic investigation to advance their understanding of a phenomenon.