Neurophysiology: Basis for the Benefits of Exercise on Physical and Mental Health

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Psychobiology of Physical Activity edited by Edmund O. Acevedo and Panteleimon Ekkekakis (see record 2006-02237-000), a long-awaited contribution to the understanding of the physiological connection between motor movement/exercise, mood, health, and brain functioning. It takes the reader beyond the fragmentary patchwork of psychobiological knowledge of the past and presents a well-coordinated journey through the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry of physical activity and the resultant health benefits. The book will help clinicians understand the highly complex physiological connection between exercise and movement therapies and physiological and psychological health and well-being. It provides histological and empirical support for the health benefits attributable to physical activity. This text helps put to rest Cartesian dualism, black-box metaphors, and the belief that the mind-brain connection is too complex to truly understand. It is a scholarly text that provides a balance between human and animal studies. This book could serve as a primary or complementary text for a graduate or undergraduate course associated with physiology and movement, school psychology, or psychiatry. Psychologists, neuroscientists, physical therapists, and physiatrists would all likely relate to the content of this book. Chapters within the text cover a variety of issues in addition to those mentioned previously and include many prevalent neuroscience concepts. Other topics include psychophysiology of biofeedback, of imagery in sports, and of human performance. The relevance of this book cuts across disciplines and provides insights and explanations for many exercise-related questions that for a long time appeared to defy answers.

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