This study aimed to determine the comparative effectiveness of aerobic vs. resistance exercise on cognitive function. In addition, salivary cortisol responses, as an indicator of arousal-related neuroendocrine responses, were assessed as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of these 2 modes of acute exercise on cognition. Forty-two young adults were recruited and performed the Stroop task after 1 session of aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and a sedentary condition performed on separate days. Saliva samples were collected at baseline and immediately and 30 min after treatment conditions. Acute exercise, regardless of exercise modality, improved multiple aspects of cognitive function as reflected by the Stroop task. Cortisol responses were higher after both modes of acute exercise compared with the sedentary condition and were higher at baseline and 30 min afterward compared with immediately after treatment conditions. These findings suggest that acute exercise of moderate intensity facilitates cognitive function, and, although salivary cortisol is influenced by acute exercise, levels were not related to improvements in cognition.
Chun-Chih Wang, Brandon Alderman, Chih-Han Wu, Lin Chi, Su-Ru Chen, I-Hua Chu and Yu-Kai Chang
Yu-Kai Chang, I-Hua Chu, Feng-Tzu Chen and Chun-Chih Wang
The present research attempts to evaluate the dose-response relationship between acute resistance exercise and planning. Seventeen participants performed the Tower of London (TOL) in control condition and three different exercise intensity conditions (40%, 70%, and 100% 10-repetition maximal) in a counterbalanced order. The results revealed positive effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on the TOL. Specifically, a curvilinear trend was observed between exercise intensity and TOL scores that measured performances of “correct” and “move,” where moderate intensity demonstrated the most optimal performance compared with the other conditions. None of these differences were found in TOL scores that measure performances of “violation” and “planning speed.” These results suggest that acute moderate intensity resistance exercise could facilitate planning-related executive functions in middle-aged adults.
Chun-Chih Wang, Chien-Heng Chu, I-Hua Chu, Kuei-Hui Chan and Yu-Kai Chang
This study was designed to examine the modulation of executive functions during acute exercise and to determine whether exercise intensity moderates this relationship. Eighty college-aged adults were recruited and randomly assigned into one of the four following groups: control, 30%, 50%, and 80% heart rate reserve. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) was administered during each intervention. The results indicated that the majority of the WCST performances were impaired in the high exercise intensity group relative to those of the other three groups, whereas similar performance rates were maintained in the low- and moderate-intensity groups. These findings suggest that transient hypofrontality occurs during high-intensity exercise, but not during low- and moderate-intensity exercises. Future research aimed at employing the dual-mode theory, and applying the reticular-activating hypofrontality model is recommended to further the current knowledge.