Heightened Learning While Walking or Running (but Not Driving?)

Animals seem to remember/learn more while moving. This would make sense if you were mapping new territory.

Rhythms in the brain that are associated with learning become stronger as the body moves faster, neurophysicists at the 

University of California, Los Angeles, have found.

The experiment was performed by measuring electrical signals from hundreds of mice neurons using microwires, the researchers said. Nearly a hundred gigabytes of data was collected every day.

Analysis of the data showed that the gamma rhythm, a fast signal that occurs while concentrating or learning, gradually grew stronger as the mice moved faster.

(of course the measured signal becoming stronger doesn’t actually prove an increased learning outcome, but I expect it nonetheless)

This reminds me of Seth Roberts’ claims that treadmill walking (which lacks much of the visual “I’m moving fast” stimulus) helps him memorize and learn.

When you drive a car, you get visual movement input with little physical movement stimulus (some vibration and acceleration, and a feeling, if you’re driving, of being in control). It seems less likely that driving a car while listening to an audiobook aids learning compared to not driving (at the least, there’s divided attention).

When you walk on a treadmill, you don’t have to pay attention, but you still get a little jiggling of the visual field.

It may be the visual part is irrelevant.

I never mapped out streets and places much until I began driving myself at age 20. I’d walk and bicycle but only on a few fixed routes. But there’s a simpler explanation for that than “motion->learning” (necessity).