Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have supported the relationship between physical exercise and cognition, 1 providing evidence of the beneficial effect of both chronic 2 – 4 and acute exercise 5 , 6 on cognitive functions. The most beneficial effects of exercise on cognitive performance has
Damiano Formenti, Luca Cavaggioni, Marco Duca, Athos Trecroci, Mattia Rapelli, Giampietro Alberti, John Komar and Pierpaolo Iodice
Tara K. Scanlan, Rebecca Lewthwaite and Bruce L. Jackson
This field study investigated sport-related and psychological predictors of children's performance outcomes (win-loss) across two consecutive rounds of a competitive wrestling tournament. The 76 wrestlers studied were 9- to 14-year-old boys, and the sport-related variable examined involved their years of competitive wrestling experience. The psychological predictors investigated were the participants' prematch performance expectancies and their characteristic prematch cognitions including: (a) worries about failure and (b) concerns about the performance expectations and evaluative reactions of their parents and coach. The data for each round were separately analyzed by logistic regression analysis. The most influential and stable predictors of performance outcomes across both tournament rounds were competitive experience and prematch performance expectancies. In addition, characteristic failure cognitions significantly predicted win-loss in the first round of the tournament. In total, win-loss was successfully predicted in 78 and 80% of the cases for round 1 and 2, respectively, by these predictors.
Karin Hesseberg, Hege Bentzen, Anette Hylen Ranhoff, Knut Engedal and Astrid Bergland
Maintenance of physical activity and good physical fitness is important for functional independence. This study had two aims: examine the physical fitness level in older persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, and examine the relationship between the components of physical fitness and cognitive domains in this group. The cross-sectional study included community-living older people ≥ 65 years of age with MCI or dementia. Physical fitness and cognition were assessed using the Senior Fitness Test and five cognitive tests. Most of the participants scored below the criteria for maintaining physical independence in later years. There were significant associations between the components of physical fitness and cognition, except flexibility. Declines in executive function were most related to declines in physical fitness. These factors should receive more attention in people with MCI and dementia because they risk losing independence.
Jennifer L. Etnier, Walter Salazar, Daniel M. Landers, Steven J. Petruzzello, Myungwoo Han and Priscilla Nowell
Nearly 200 studies have examined the impact that either acute or long-term exercise has upon cognition. Subsets of these studies have been reviewed using the traditional narrative method, and the common conclusion has been that the results are mixed. Therefore, a more comprehensive review is needed that includes all available studies and that provides a more objective and reproducible review process. Thus, a meta-analytic review was conducted that included all relevant studies with sufficient information for the calculation of effect size (N = 134). The overall effect size was 0.25, suggesting that exercise has a small positive effect on cognition. Examination of the moderator variables indicated that characteristics related to the exercise paradigm, the participants, the cognitive tests, and the quality of the study influence effect size. However, the most important finding was that as experimental rigor decreased, effect size increased. Therefore, more studies need to be conducted that emphasize experimental rigor.
Robert C. Eklund
In order to extend Gould, Eklund, and Jackson’s (1992a) investigation with 1988 U.S. Olympic wrestlers, Eklund (1994) reported results from a season-long investigation of cognition during performance among collegiate wrestlers. This manuscript expands the account of that season-long investigation by reporting precompetitive cognition and affect—the psychological experience immediately prior to match performance—associated with performance. Qualitative data were collected from 6 NCAA Division I wrestlers via indepth retrospective interviews regarding all-time best and worst performances within 2’days of 38 season matches. Observable patterns in the organization and content of precompetitive psychological experience were identified in high, moderate, and low quality performances and observations made regarding associations with the competitive psychological experience.
Neha Gothe, Matthew B. Pontifex, Charles Hillman and Edward McAuley
Despite an increase in the prevalence of yoga exercise, research focusing on the relationship between yoga exercise and cognition is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute yoga exercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance.
A repeated measures design was employed where 30 female college-aged participants (Mean age = 20.07, SD = 1.95) completed 3 counterbalanced testing sessions: a yoga exercise session, an aerobic exercise session, and a baseline assessment. The flanker and n-back tasks were used to measure cognitive performance.
Results showed that cognitive performance after the yoga exercise bout was significantly superior (ie, shorter reaction times, increased accuracy) as compared with the aerobic and baseline conditions for both inhibition and working memory tasks. The aerobic and baseline performance was not significantly different, contradicting some of the previous findings in the acute aerobic exercise and cognition literature.
These findings are discussed relative to the need to explore the effects of other nontraditional modes of exercise such as yoga on cognition and the importance of time elapsed between the cessation of the exercise bout and the initiation of cognitive assessments in improving task performance.
David I. Anderson
“Motor Development as Foundation and Future for Developmental Psychology” ( Thelen, 2000a ). That agenda included 6 themes: multimodal perception and action, formal models and robotics, embodied cognition, neural bases of motor skill development, learning and plasticity, and cultural and individual
Jack A. G. Marlow and Mark Uphill
This study explored the characteristics, contextual factors and consequences of counterfactual thoughts in seven elite athletes using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Counterfactuals were experienced regularly with self-directed and upward counterfactuals (cognitions about how things could be better) being most frequent. These upward counterfactuals typically occurred following performance that was below participants’ goals and expectations. These thoughts were perceived by participants to have a negative affect initially, and that they then led to facilitative behavioral consequences around learning and development. Some elements of counterfactual thinking could be used as a useful reflective tool to encourage elite athletes to problem solve and motivate cognitive, emotional and behavioral change to enhance future performance.
Patrick R. Thomas and Ray Over
Psychological and psychomotor skills associated with performance in golf were established through ratings provided by 165 men with golf handicaps ranging from 5 to 27. Several components of skilled performance in golf were identified through factor analysis of these ratings, followed by comparisons between lower handicap and higher handicap players. Skilled golfers (those with lower handicaps) reported greater mental preparation, a higher level of concentration when playing golf, fewer negative emotions and cognitions, greater psychomotor automaticity, and more commitment to golf. Three self-report assessment scales (measures of psychological skills and tactics, psychomotor skills, and golf involvement) were developed from the data. Contexts in which these scales can be used are discussed.
Albert V. Carron, Heather A. Hausenblas and Diane Mack
Using meta-analysis, the impact of a number of manifestations of social influence (important others, family, class leaders, coexercisers, social cohesion, and task cohesion) on exercise behaviors (adherence and compliance), cognitions (intentions and efficacy), and affect (satisfaction and attitude) was examined. The results showed that social influence generally has a small to moderate positive effect (i.e., effect size [ES] from .20 to .50). However, four moderate to large effect sizes (i.e., ES from .50 to .80) were found: family support and attitudes about exercise, task cohesion and adherence behavior, important others and attitudes about exercise, and family support and compliance behavior.