Effects of the Timing of Acute Exercise and Movement Complexity on Young Adults’ Psychomotor Learning

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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The role of acute bouts of exercise on young adults’ psychomotor learning was assessed in two experiments. In Experiment 1, 10 min of exercise performed immediately following pursuit-rotor training improved retention of tracking movements, but only when measured 7 days following encoding and only under exercise conditions that required complex decisions. In Experiment 2, 10 min of exercise performed immediately prior to encoding resulted in a retention pattern similar to that seen in Experiment 1; however, performance did not differ significantly between exercise and control groups. In both experiments, retention of motor movement was greater when measured 24 hr and 7 days after training, as opposed to immediately following encoding. The mnemonic benefits of moderately vigorous complex physical activity appear to assist a motor memory trace to transform from a fragile to a more persistent state.

The authors are with the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Tomporowski (ptomporo@uga.edu) is corresponding author.
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