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Daniel Gould, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson

Two experiments were conducted to determine if different mental preparation strategies produced differential strength performance and whether arousal was the major mediating variable explicating this relationship. In the first experiment, 15 male and 15 female subjects performed under five different mental preparation conditions in a 2 × 5 (sex by mental preparation strategy) Latin square design. The mental preparation conditions included: attentional focus, imagery, preparatory arousal, a control-rest condition, and a counting backwards cognitive-distraction condition. Immediately after employing each technique, all subjects performed four trials on a leg-strength task, and measures of state anxiety and other cognitions were then obtained. The findings revealed that the preparatory arousal and imagery techniques produced the greatest change in performance, with preparatory arousal subjects also reporting the greatest changes in cognitive states. However, due to the possibility of range effects resulting from the within-subjects design used in Experiment I, a second between-subjects experiment was conducted. Thirty males and 30females performed in a 2 × 3 (sex by mental preparation) design using the preparatory arousal, imagery and control conditions of Experiment 1. Only the preparatory arousal condition was found to facilitate performance. However, no consistent changes in cognitive states were found between experiments, and these inconsistent findings were interpreted as being caused by methodological problems associated with self-report assessment of cognitive states.

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Carolina Menezes Fiorelli, Emmanuel Gomes Ciolac, Lucas Simieli, Fabiana Araújo Silva, Bianca Fernandes, Gustavo Christofoletti and Fabio Augusto Barbieri

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a motor disease caused by nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell loss in the basal ganglia. However, people with PD present cognitive impairments, which deteriorate their quality of life and increase disability. 1 , 2 Cognition is affected early due to the degeneration present

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Laura Žlibinaitė, Rima Solianik, Daiva Vizbaraitė, Dalia Mickevičienė and Albertas Skurvydas

Although we are not aware of the effects of physical activity and CR on cognition-related brain activity in overweight and obese adults, studies of older adults (who have decreased brain activity) showed that aerobic exercise training improves executive functions and increases PFC activity and functional

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Cornelia Frank, Gian-Luca Linstromberg, Linda Hennig, Thomas Heinen and Thomas Schack

, & Knoblich, 2006 ). Accordingly, both intrapersonal coordination during individual actions and interpersonal coordination during team actions are crucial for successful performance in team sports. This coordination, in turn, is believed to draw on cognitions of the team (e.g.,  Cannon-Bowers, Salas

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Jennifer L. Etnier, William B. Karper, Jennifer I. Gapin, Lisa A. Barella, Yu Kai Chang and Karen J. Murphy

Background:

This pilot study was designed to test the efficacy of a physical activity program for improving psychological variables and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) symptoms and to provide preliminary evidence regarding the effects on perceived cognitive symptoms and objectively measured cognitive performance by FMS patients.

Methods:

Sixteen women diagnosed with FMS were randomly assigned to an 18-week physical activity program or to a control condition. Psychological measures, FMS symptoms, perceived cognitive function, objective measures of cognition, and walking capacity were assessed at baseline and post-test.

Results:

At posttest, there were significant differences in fatigue (effect size, ES = 1.86), depression (ES = 1.27), FMS symptoms (ES = 1.56), self-reported cognitive symptoms (ES = 1.19), and delayed recall performance (ES = 1.16) between the physically active group and the control group, indicating that the FMS patients benefited from physical activity. Beneficial effects were also observed for 6 of the 7 objective measures of cognition and ranged from small to large (ESs = 0.26 to 1.06).

Conclusions:

Given that all FMS patients do not respond well to conventional treatments, these beneficial effects of physical activity are important. Future studies with larger samples are warranted to test the reliability of the findings for the objective measures of cognition.

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David W. Eccles, Susanne E. Walsh and David K. Ingledew

The objective of this study was to gain an understanding of expert cognition in orienteering. The British orienteering squad was interviewed (N = 17) and grounded theory was used to develop a theory of expert cognition in orienteering. A task constraint identified as central to orienteering is the requirement to manage attention to three sources of information: the map, the environment, and travel. Optimal management is constrained by limited processing resources. However, consistent with the research literature, the results reveal considerable adaptations by experts to task constraints, characterized primarily by various cognitive skills including anticipation and simplification. By anticipating the environment from the map, and by simplifying the information required to navigate, expert orienteers can circumvent processing limitations. Implications of this theory for other domains involving navigation, and for the coaching process within the sport, are discussed.

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Jannique G.Z. van Uffelen, Marijke J.M. Chinapaw, Marijke Hopman-Rock and Willem van Mechelen

This study examined the feasibility and effect on aerobic fitness of a 1-yr, twice-weekly, group-based moderate-intensity walking program (MI-WP, n = 77) compared with a low-intensity activity program (LI-AP, n = 75) for community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Thirty participants did not start a program; median attendance in the other 122 participants was 71%. Small but significant associations were observed between attendance and memory in the MI-WP and general cognition in the LI-AP. Associations were no longer significant when both groups were analyzed together. Intensity, assessed using percentage of heart-rate reserve and the Borg scale, equaled intended intensity for both programs. Aerobic fitness improved significantly in participants in the MI-WP. In conclusion, cognition was not clearly associated with attendance in the 62 participants starting the MI-WP, and average attendance was good. The intensity was feasible for participants who continued the MI-WP. The findings support the proposal that regular moderate-intensity walking improves aerobic fitness in adults with MCI.

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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.

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Katja Linde and Dorothee Alfermann

Background:

Physical and cognitive activity seems to be an effective strategy by which to promote age-sensitive fluid cognitive abilities in older adults.

Method:

In this randomized controlled trial, 70 healthy senior citizens (age 60–75) were allocated to a physical, cognitive, combined physical plus cognitive, and waiting control group. The trial assessed information processing speed, short-term memory, spatial relations, concentration, reasoning, and cognitive speed.

Results:

In contrast to the control group, the physical, cognitive, and combined training groups enhanced their concentration immediately after intervention. Only the physical training group showed improved concentration 3 months later. The combined training group displayed improved cognitive speed both immediately and three months after intervention. The cognitive training group displayed improved cognitive speed 3 months after intervention.

Conclusions:

Physical, cognitive, and combined physical plus cognitive activity can be seen as cognition-enrichment behaviors in healthy older adults that show different rather than equal intervention effects.

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Jennifer Gapin and Jennifer L. Etnier

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) consistently perform worse on executive function (EF) tasks relative to those without AD/HD. Physical activity has a small effect on cognition in children and may be particularly beneficial for children with AD/HD by impacting fundamental EF deficiencies that characterize this disorder. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which physical activity is associated with EF in children with AD/HD. Eighteen boys (M age = 10.61, SD = 1.50) with AD/HD were recruited to complete four EF tasks. Physical activity was measured with an accelerometer that provided daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity; this measure was a significant predictor of performance on the Tower of London planning task, adjusted R 2 = .28, F(1, 16) = 7.61, p < .05, and was positively associated with other EF measures. These results suggest that higher physical activity is associated with better EF performance in AD/HD children.