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Phillip D. Tomporowski and Daniel M. Pendleton

Mang et al. ( 2014 ) study; employing an acute exercise bout consisting of 30 min of moderately intense aerobic cycling that preceded training on a continuous tracking task. The exercise bout resulted in greater accuracy during the acquisition of the tracking skill, but there were no differences in

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Veronique Labelle, Laurent Bosquet, Said Mekary, Thien Tuong Minh Vu, Mark Smilovitch and Louis Bherer

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of exercise intensity, age, and fitness levels on executive and nonexecutive cognitive tasks during exercise. Participants completed a computerized modified-Stroop task (including denomination, inhibition, and switching conditions) while pedaling on a cycle ergometer at 40%, 60%, and 80% of peak power output (PPO). We showed that a bout of moderate-intensity (60% PPO) to high-intensity (80% PPO) exercise was associated with deleterious performance in the executive component of the computerized modified-Stroop task (i.e., switching condition), especially in lower-fit individuals (p < .01). Age did not have an effect on the relationship between acute cardiovascular exercise and cognition. Acute exercise can momentarily impair executive control equivalently in younger and older adults, but individual’s fitness level moderates this relation.

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Caterina Pesce

In exercise and cognition research, few studies have investigated whether and how the qualitative aspects of physical exercise may impact cognitive performance in the short or long term. This commentary, after recalling the evidence on the “dose-response” relationship, shifts the focus to intersections between different research areas that are proposed to shed light on how qualitative exercise characteristics can be used to obtain cognitive benefits. As concerns the acute exercise area, this commentary highlights the applied relevance of developmental and aging studies investigating the effects of exercise bouts differing in movement task complexity and cognitive demands. As regards the chronic exercise area, potential links to research on cognitive expertise in sport, functional ability in aging, and life skills training during development are discussed. “Gross-motor cognitive training” is proposed as a key concept with relevant implications for intervention strategies in childhood and older adulthood.

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Margina Ruiter, Charly Eielts, Sofie Loyens and Fred Paas

, hold, manipulate, and update information for a short period of time. 38 Cognitive flexibility refers to the mental ability to switch between thinking about 2 different concepts and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Most research in the acute exercise literature has found positive

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Lijing Wang, Ligong Duan, Xukun Li and Guoping Li


Calpains and calpastatin can degrade muscle proteins, but no research has investigated the expression pattern of calpains and calpastatin after exhaustive exercise.


To investigate the alterations in expression of μ-, m-, and n-calpain and calpastatin after exhaustive exercise and its association with muscle injury.


64 rats divided into 2 groups, a nonexercise control group and an acute-exhaustive-exercise (AEE) group. Biopsies in the AEE group were taken at different times after exercise.


Calpastatin protein expression and m-calpain activity increased early after exercise, but both n-calpain protein expression and μ-calpain activity generally decreased with time. n-Calpain mRNA expression was down- regulated from late after exercise.


The increased m-calpain activity might promote muscle-protein degradation and muscle injury. On the contrary, calpastatin might execute a protective function against muscle injury. The change in p-calpain activity was found earlier than muscle injury and therefore might serve as a useful predictor of muscle injury.

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Daniel Hughes, George Baum, Jennifer Jovanovic, Cindy Carmack, Anthony Greisinger and Karen Basen-Engquist


Self-efficacy can be affected by mastery experiences and somatic sensations. A novel exercise experience and associated sensations may impact self-efficacy and subsequent behaviors. We investigated the effect of a single exercise session on self-efficacy for sedentary endometrial cancer survivors compared with sedentary women of a similar age, but with no cancer history.


Twenty survivors and 19 controls completed an exercise session performed as a submaximal cycle ergometry test. Sensations and efficacy were measured before and after exercise. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed. Regression models were used to determine predictors of self-efficacy and subsequent exercise.


Self-efficacy increased for both survivors and controls, but survivors had a higher rate of increase, and the change predicted subsequent exercise. The association between exercise-related somatic sensations and self-efficacy differed between the 2 groups.


A novel exercise experience had a larger effect on self-efficacy and subsequent exercise activity for endometrial cancer survivors than controls. Somatic sensations experienced during exercise may differ for survivors, which may be related to the experience of having cancer. Understanding factors affecting confidence in novel exercise experiences for populations with specific cancer histories is of the utmost importance in the adoption of exercise behaviors.

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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.

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Yael Netz, Esther Argov and Omri Inbar

A recent study indicated that acute aerobic exercise improves cognitive flexibility in adults. The current study assessed age, habitual physical activity, and physical fitness as moderators of this improvement and examined whether the gains still exist an hour after the exercise session. The alternative-uses test, assessing cognitive flexibility, was administered individually to 20 older (age 63.67 ± 3.55 yr) and 19 young (age 23.9 ± 1.22) women before, immediately after, and an hour after a single moderate aerobic-exercise session. Results indicated significant improvement in cognitive flexibility in the older group immediately after the exercise but a decrease at the 1-hr follow-up. Further analysis indicated that physical fitness accounted for this improvement (R = –.622, p < .01). No such differences were observed in the young group. Further studies are needed to examine the duration of this effect, as well as the role of physical fitness as a moderator of it.

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Philip D. Tomporowski, Catherine L. Davis, Kate Lambourne, Mathew Gregoski and Joseph Tkacz

The short-term aftereffects of a bout of moderate aerobic exercise were hypothesized to facilitate children’s executive functioning as measured by a visual task-switching test. Sixty-nine children (mean age = 9.2 years) who were overweight and inactive performed a category-decision task before and immediately following a 23-min bout of treadmill walking and, on another session, before and following a nonexercise period. The acute bout of physical activity did not influence the children’s global switch cost scores or error rates. Age-related differences in global switch cost scores, but not error scores, were obtained. These results, in concert with several studies conducted with adults, fail to confirm that single bouts of moderately intense physical activity influence mental processes involved in task switching.