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1- Department of Exercise Physiology & Sport Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: The positive effects of exercise on spatial memory and learning have been shown. The olfactory sensory neurons respond to mechanical stimulation induced by nasal airflow which is associated with airflow intensity. Accordingly, nasal breathing can modulate brain oscillations in nonolfactory areas, and respiration-entrained oscillations aid the improvement of cognitive abilities. Given that aerobic exercise increases the rate of respiration and intensity of nasal airflow, we aimed to evaluate the role of olfactory sensory neurons in mediating the effects of aerobic exercise on memory.
Methods: Therefore, we examined spatial memory following exercise in animal models of olfactory sensory neuron impairment (with methimazole injection 300 mg/kg/week).
Result: Our results showed that destroying olfactory sensory neurons significantly reduces olfactory bulb activity at delta and theta frequency bands as well as its coupling to respiration. More importantly, it abolished the positive effect of exercise on spatial memory (p<0.05).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the olfactory bulb activity is one of the probable mechanisms for improving spatial memory following exercise.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2022/03/7 | Accepted: 2022/05/1

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