The purpose of this study was to test the transient hypofrontality theory (Dietrich, 2003) by examining the influence of exercise intensity on executive control processes during and following submaximal exercise. Thirty participants (13 female) exercised for 30 min at ventilatory threshold (VT) or at 75% of VT. The Contingent Continuous Performance Task (CPT) and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were used as measures of executive control. They were administered before, during, immediately following, and 20 min after exercise. An increase in false alarms and unique errors (p ≤ .05) occurred during both conditions. False alarms for the CPT and total and perseverative errors for the WCST remained elevated immediately following exercise at VT, but not at exercise below VT (p ≤ .01). The decreased executive control function during exercise can be explained by the transient hypofrontality theory. Following VT, executive control performance remained poor possibly owing to an additional amount of time the brain needs to return to homeostasis following intense exercise.
Jacqueline M. Del Giorno, Eric E. Hall, Kevin C. O’Leary, Walter R. Bixby and Paul C. Miller
Jessica L. Unick, Kelley Strohacker, George D. Papandonatos, David Williams, Kevin C. O’Leary, Leah Dorfman, Katie Becofsky and Rena R. Wing
This study examined whether inactive, overweight/obese women experience consistent affective responses to moderate-intensity exercise. Twenty-eight women participated in 3 identical (same treadmill grade and speed within a subject) 30-min exercise sessions. The Feeling Scale (FS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and Subjective Exercise Experience Scale were administered pre- and postexercise and FS was also administered every 5 min during exercise. All measures exhibited less than optimal agreement in pre-to-postexercise change within an individual across the 3 sessions (ICCs = 0.02–0.60), even after controlling for within-subject variations in heart rate. Only FS exhibited “good” consistency when controlling for preexercise values (ICC = 0.72). However, the mean FS score during exercise was highly consistent within an individual (ICC = 0.83). Thus, an individual’s affective response to an exercise session does not provide reliable information about how they will respond to subsequent exercise sessions. Taking the average of FS measurements during exercise may yield more consistent findings.