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Data Set

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Aerobic exercise, information processing, cognition, reaction time, movement time, response time


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences; Kinesiology; Electrical and Computer Engineering


Exercise Science

Description or Abstract

We investigated the role of three intensities of aerobic exercise (Low Intensity [LI], Moderate Intensity [MI], High Intensity [HI]) on information processing and cognition (IPC) by analyzing response time (RPT) and its fractionated components (1) reaction time (RT, interval between stimulus onset and muscle activation, and (2) movement time (MT, time interval between muscle activation and completion of the required motor response). Twenty-seven participants (16, male; 11, female) between the ages of 18-25 (mean age = 21.9 years) took part in 1-choice, 5-choice, and dual-task (DT, counting backwards by 3) conditions prior to and 1-min and 20-min postexercise. Based on the statistical analyses, three major findings emerged: (1) participants improved RT and RPT in the more complex 5-Choice & DT tasks but not in the simple 1-Choice task; (2) improvement in RPT occurred primarily as a result of decreased RT and not MT; and (3) all exercise intensities improved RT and RPT in 5-Choice and DT tasks both immediately postexercise (1-min) and short-term (20-min). As RT represents more CNS mechanisms than movement per se, the facilitatory effects of exercise on RPT involved more speed of cortical processing than speed in completing the task. Each of these effects were discussed.



Public (open access)