Study to explore how cognitive development affects later attitudes toward physical activity

Research News
By Angie Hunt, ISU News Service

Panteleimon Paddy Ekkekakis inside his exercise research lab where he studies how our bodies and brains respond to exercise. Photo by Christopher Gannon

Iowa State researchers are working to understand the connection between childhood cognitive development and attitudes toward physical activity. Kinesiology professor Panteleimon “Paddy” Ekkekakis and graduate student Matthew Ladwig believe that the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls emotions, may play a role. 

The prefrontal cortex not only controls emotions, but pushes people to their maximum effort and controls how adults feel about exercising. Since this region is not fully developed in children, it may more difficult for them to control their emotions, and thus have a negative view of exercise, especially if it is difficult. 

Read the complete story by the ISU News Service. 

Key contacts

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, professor, Kinesiology, 515-294-8766,
Matthew Ladwig, graduate student, Kinesiology, 515-294-8009,
Angie Hunt, ISU News Service. 515-294-8986,

By Angie Hunt, ISU News Service