Acute exercise benefits cognition, and some evidence suggests that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a role in this effect. The purpose of this study was to explore the dose–response relationship between exercise intensity, memory, and BDNF. Young adults completed 3 exercise sessions at different intensities relative to ventilator threshold (Vt) (VO2max, Vt – 20%, Vt + 20%). For each session, participants exercised for approximately 30 min. Following exercise, they performed the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to assess short-term memory, learning, and long-term memory recall. Twenty-four hours later, they completed the RAVLT recognition trial, which provided another measure of long-term memory. Blood was drawn before exercise, immediately postexercise, and after the 30-min recall test. Results indicated that long-term memory as assessed after the 24-hr delay differed as a function of exercise intensity with the largest benefits observed following maximal intensity exercise. BDNF data showed a significant increase in response to exercise; however, there were no differences relative to exercise intensity and there were no significant associations between BDNF and memory. Future research is warranted so that we can better understand how to use exercise to benefit cognitive performance.
Jennifer L. Etnier, Laurie Wideman, Jeffrey D. Labban, Aaron T. Piepmeier, Daniel M. Pendleton, Kelly K. Dvorak and Katie Becofsky
Lambros Lazuras, Vassileios Barkoukis, Angelos Rodafinos and Haralambos Tzorbatzoudis
Doping use is an ongoing problem in contemporary sports. Despite efforts to detect and control doping, research on its etiology is limited, especially among elite-level athletes. The present study used an integrated social cognition model to examine the predictors of doping intentions. Structured anonymous questionnaires were completed by 1075 Greek adult elite-level athletes (M age = 25 years, SD = 5.89, 36.1% females) from both team and individual sports. Multiple regression and mediation analyses showed that attitudes, normative beliefs, situational temptation, and behavioral control significantly predicted doping intentions. A normative process was identified whereby situational temptation mediated the effects of normative beliefs on intentions. The findings provide the basis for future social cognition research in doping use, and set the framework for the development of evidence-based preventive interventions.
Jaclyn P. Maher, Eldin Dzubur, Jimi Huh, Stephen Intille and Genevieve F. Dunton
This study used time-varying effect modeling to examine time-of-day differences in how behavioral cognitions predict subsequent physical activity (PA). Adults (N = 116) participated in three 4-day “bursts” of ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Participants were prompted with eight EMA questionnaires per day assessing behavioral cognitions (i.e., intentions, self-efficacy, outcome expectations) and wore an accelerometer during waking hours. Subsequent PA was operationalized as accelerometer-derived minutes of moderate- or vigorousintensity PA in the 2 hr following the EMA prompt. On weekdays, intentions positively predicted subsequent PA in the morning (9:25 a.m.–11:45 a.m.) and in the evening (8:15 p.m.–10:00 p.m.). Self-efficacy positively predicted subsequent PA on weekday evenings (7:35 p.m.–10:00 p.m.). Outcome expectations were unrelated to subsequent PA on weekdays. On weekend days, behavior cognitions and subsequent PA were unrelated regardless of time of day. This study identifies windows of opportunity and vulnerability for motivation-based PA interventions aiming to deliver intervention content within the context of adults’ daily lives.
Juliana Hotta Ansai, Larissa Pires de Andrade, Marcele Stephanie de Souza Buto, Verena de Vassimon Barroso, Ana Claudia Silva Farche, Paulo Giusti Rossi and Anielle Cristhine de Medeiros Takahashi
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the addition of a dual task to multicomponent training on cognition of active older adults. Eighty physically active older adults were divided into an intervention group (IG) and a control group (CG). Both groups performed multicomponent training over 12 weeks. The IG simultaneously performed exercises and cognitive tasks. The Mini-Mental State Examination, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and the Clock Drawing Test were used for cognitive assessments. The Timed Up and Go Test associated with a cognitive task was used for dual-task assessment. Significant interactions were not observed between groups in terms of the cognitive variables or the dual-task performance. An interaction was observed only for Timed Up and Go Test performance, which was better in the CG than in the IG. Active older adults showed no improvement in cognition following the addition of the dual task to the multicomponent training.
Shannon S. Block, Trevor R. Tooley, Matthew R. Nagy, Molly P. O’Sullivan, Leah E. Robinson, Natalie Colabianchi and Rebecca E. Hasson
games on some aspects of cognition in college students. Results suggested that following a single session of either violent or nonviolent computer-game play, participants scored better on a task requiring short-term working memory, visual attention, auditory perception, and mathematical decision making
Sport psychologists believe that contemporary sport’s pervasive preoccupation with winning may actually be responsible for athletes’ anxiety, motivation, and self-confidence problems. Winning is a goal that lacks the flexibility and control necessary for athletes to (a) achieve consistent success and (b) take credit for success. Martens and Burton (1982) concluded that performance goals (PGs) based on attaining personal performance standards offer the flexibility and control needed to develop high perceived ability and performance. Thus the purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to evaluate whether a goal setting training (GST) program could teach athletes to set appropriate PGs, and (b) to assess the impact of the GST program on the perceived ability, competitive cognitions, and performance of collegiate swimmers. A collegiate swim team (N=30) participated in a season-long GST program, and program effects were systematically evaluated with a multimethod approach using interteam, intrateam, and case study data. Interteam and case study data generally supported both predictions. Intrateam analyses revealed that high-accuracy GST swimmers demonstrated more optimal cognitions and performance than low-accuracy teammates, suggesting that goal setting skill mediated GST effectiveness.
Wonjae Choi and Seungwon Lee
, indicating the high accuracy of the measurement ( Wang & Chen, 2010 ). Cognitive function was assessed using Montreal Cognitive Assessment ( Freitas, Simoes, Alves, & Santana, 2013 ) and General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition ( Brodaty, Kemp, & Low, 2004 ). Montreal Cognitive Assessment assesses
Jeffrey D. Labban and Jennifer L. Etnier
cognition when assessed within 15 min of exercise cessation, but nonsignificant overall effects when cognition was assessed more than 15 min following exercise cessation. Memory, however, is one cognitive domain for which the effects of acute exercise may be more durable. Long-term memory has been
Catherine L. Davis, Joseph P. Tkacz, Phillip D. Tomporowski and Eduardo E. Bustamante
This study tested whether participation in organized physical activity (active vs. inactive) or weight status (normal weight vs. overweight or obese) independently relate to children’s cognition, using a matched-pairs design.
Design and Methods:
Normal weight, active children (8–11 yrs, 5th-75th percentile BMI) were recruited from extracurricular physical activity programs while normal weight inactive (5th-75th percentile BMI) and overweight inactive children (BMI ≥85th percentile) were recruited from local Augusta, Georgia area schools. Measures included the Cognitive Assessment System, anthropometrics, and parent- and self-report of physical activity. Paired t tests compared cognition scores between matched groups of normal weight active vs. normal weight inactive (N = 24 pairs), normal weight inactive vs. overweight inactive (N = 21 pairs), and normal weight active vs. overweight inactive children (N = 16 pairs). Children in each comparison were matched for race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status.
Normal weight active children had higher Planning (M± SD = 109 ± 11 vs. 100 ± 11, p = .011) and Attention scores (108 ± 11 vs. 100 ± 11, p = .013) than overweight inactive children. Normal weight inactive children had higher Attention scores than overweight inactive children (105 ± 13 vs. 93 ± 12, p = .008). When compared with normal weight inactive children, normal weight active children had higher Planning (113 ± 10 vs. 102 ± 13, p = .008) and marginally higher Attention scores (111 ± 11 vs. 104 ± 12, p = .06).
Findings suggest independent associations of children’s weight status with selective attention, and physical activity with higher-order processes of executive function.
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.