The study aimed to investigate the effects of regular physical activity on visuospatial cognition in elderly adults, and to further understand the potential neural mechanisms underpinning such effects. We assessed 24 physically active elderly adults and 24 sedentary counterparts using behavioral and neuroelectric measures during a visuospatial cognitive task with different levels of cognitive load. The results showed that the active group had higher behavioral accuracy along with greater P3 amplitudes, regardless of the level of cognitive load. Moreover, the correlation results revealed that physical activity levels were positively associated with accuracy performance in both conditions, while being correlated with frontal P3 amplitudes in the high cognitively demanding condition. However, no significant effects were observed in terms of P3 latency and contingent negative variation. These findings suggest that regular physical activity might be part of an effective lifestyle to attenuate the trajectory of age-related cognitive declines, thus increasing the likelihood of individuals becoming high-functioning older adults.
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Yu-Kai Chang, Chien-Yu Pan, Feng-Tzu Chen, Chia-Liang Tsai, and Chi-Chang Huang
Several studies have demonstrated that exercise helps reduce or prevent cognitive deterioration among older adults, and recent studies have further examined the effects of resistance-exercise training on cognition. The purpose of this review was to examine the role of resistance-exercise training on cognition in healthy older adults. Specifically, it describes the definition, health benefits, and the design of resistance-exercise training. The authors also review the research related to resistance exercises and cognition and found that this exercise modality may enhance specific cognitive performances. Next, they examine the potential mechanisms underlying resistance exercise and cognitive enhancement. Finally, they consider potential therapeutics and recommendations for further research on resistance-exercise training and cognition in older adults.
Jane Jie Yu, Chia-Liang Tsai, Chien-Yu Pan, Ru Li, and Cindy Hui-Ping Sit
Background: To examine the relationship between physical activity (PA) and inhibition in boys and girls with motor impairments compared with children with typical development. Methods: The participants were 58 (26 motor impairments and 32 typical development) children aged 7–12 years who met the inclusion criteria. PA was assessed using accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. The time spent in PA of different intensity levels (light, moderate, and vigorous) were analyzed for weekdays and weekends. Using a visuospatial attention paradigm, inhibition was evaluated by the difference in reaction time between invalid and valid cue conditions. Generalized linear mixed models were used to determine the associations of inhibition with PA and motor ability by sex. Results: Boys and children with typical development had shorter reaction times in inhibition than girls (P < .001) and children with motor impairments (P < .05), respectively. Motor ability (b = 189.98) and vigorous PA on weekdays (b = −43.18) were significant predictors of inhibition in girls only. Conclusions: The results indicate a positive relationship between vigorous PA (on weekdays) and inhibition in children (girls), moderated by sex and motor ability. Effective interventions that promote vigorous PA for children both in and out of school should be designed to foster their executive function development.
Yu-Kai Chang, Yu-Hsiang Nien, Chia-Liang Tsai, and Jennifer L. Etnier
The purpose of this article is to review the potential of Tai Chi Chuan as a mode of physical activity that could have cognitive benefits for older adults and to provide potential directions for future research. A brief introduction to Tai Chi Chuan and its related physical benefits is provided. In addition, the empirical literature related to Tai Chi Chuan and cognition is reviewed. Potential mediators of the relationship between Tai Chi Chuan and cognition, including physical resources, disease status, and mental resources, are discussed. Based on the limitations of the extant literature, it is argued that future research in this area must provide more detailed descriptions of Tai Chi Chuan, particularly in terms of intensity and program progression. Consideration of the specific type of cognition that is expected to benefit is also encouraged, and approaches for further efforts to understand how Tai Chi Chuan affects cognition are recommended.
Yu-Kai Chang, Chia-Liang Tsai, Tsung-Min Hung, Edmund Cheung So, Feng-Tzu Chen, and Jennifer L. Etnier
The purpose of this study is to extend the literature by examining the effects of an acute bout of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise on the executive functions of planning and problem solving assessed using a Tower of London Task (TOL Task). Forty-two participants were randomly assigned into either exercise or control group, and performed the TOL Task, before and immediately following exercise or a control treatment. The exercise group performed 30 min of exercise on a stationary cycle at moderate to vigorous intensity while the control group read for the same length of time. Results indicated that the exercise group achieved improvements in TOL Task scores reflecting the quality of planning and problem solving, but not in those reflecting rule adherence and performance speed. These findings indicate that an acute bout of aerobic exercise has facilitative effects on the executive functions of planning and problem solving.