PERREAULT Magazine MARCH | APRIL 2016 - Page 67

We have known since the 1950’s that people with damage to the hippocampus on both sides (you have one on each side of your brain) have clear memory impairments. But what Eleanor Maguire discovered in 2007 is that people with hippocampal damage also have a surprising difficulty imagining new situations that they had not previously experienced. Maguire asked subjects with hippocampal damage to imagine a tropical beach scene. While control subjects with the same age and education could come up with detailed descriptions of what a tropical beach might look like, including, the color and texture of the sand and sea as well as the buildings and objects that might present (i.e., sweet fruity drinks with paper umbrella’s sticking out of them),the descriptions by subjects with the hippocampal damage were very simple, only including reference to white sand and maybe a blue ocean and not much else.

Perreault Magazine - 67 -

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Another potential positive effect of exercise on the brain focuses on one of our highest, and some would say one of our most personal, brain functions: imagination.