Actividad física y cognición: inseparables en el aula

Anya Doherty, Anna Forés

Abstract


Tradicionalmente, la educación ha tendido a compartimentar el pensamiento abstracto, la emoción y la actividad física. Sin embargo, la evidencia neurocientífica sugiere que estos tres elementos están estrechamente vinculados con el proceso de aprendizaje. En la “Introducción” de este artículo se repasa el contexto actual: cómo la tradicional clase magistral relega a los estudiantes a un papel pasivo y sedentario que impide el movimiento físico; cómo en los colegios se van reduciendo las horas de recreo y suprimiendo las clases de educación física o aquellas asignaturas que involucran todo el cuerpo (teatro, música, actividades al aire libre), con lo cual se limita aún más la presencia de la actividad física en el entorno de aprendizaje. La evidencia neurocientífica sugiere que el sedentarismo no solo tiene un impacto nocivo en el bienestar físico, sino también en la salud cerebral. El ser humano está diseñado para moverse, para interrelacionarse con su medioambiente, con el movimiento: la actividad física es un factor clave que contribuye al funcionamiento saludable del cerebro. En la sección 2, “Aportes de la investigación neurocientífica”, las autoras presentan y analizan diversos estudios y metaanálisis que destacan la asociación positiva entre la actividad física y la cognición en estudiantes de Educación Primaria y Secundaria.  En estas investigaciones examinan este vínculo en tres niveles: el incremento de la vascularización (que incrementa el oxígeno y la glucosa en el cerebro); la liberación de neurotransmisores y el factor neurotrófico derivado del cerebro (BDNF en sus siglas en inglés) que favorecen la neurogénesis, la memoria, la atención y la motivación; y el desarrollo de circuitos neurales complejos relacionados con el movimiento y su interconexión con las funciones ejecutivas del cerebro. En la sección 3, “Discusión”, se repasan las limitaciones y las aplicaciones de la evidencia examinada. El artículo concluye con unas recomendaciones para que los docentes puedan integrar la actividad física en el aula o en el entorno de aprendizaje. Teniendo en cuenta esta evidencia y la realidad educacional actual, que generalmente considera al aprendizaje como una actividad abstracta, divorciada de nuestra corporalidad, las autoras argumentan la necesidad de incorporar la actividad física al entorno de aprendizaje.


Keywords


Actividad física; neuroeducación; neurotransmsores; BDNF; formación docente; innovación pedagócica

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/joned.v1i1.31665

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