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Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall and Steven J. Petruzzello

Two studies were conducted to examine the internal consistency and validity of the state anxiety subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (SAI) in the context of acute exercise. SAI responses typically found in the exercise literature were replicated. Analysis at the item level revealed divergent response patterns, confounding the total SAI score. During moderate and immediately after vigorous exercise, scores on items referring to cognitive antecedents of anxiety decreased, whereas scores on items assessing perceived activation increased. Indices of internal showed exercise-associated decreases. A principal-components analysis of responses immediately postexercise revealed a multidimensional structure, distinguishing “cognitive” and “activation” items. By failing to discern exercise-induced and anxiety-related increases in activation from anxiety-antecedent appraisals, the SAI exhibits compromised internal consistency and validity in the context of acute exercise.

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SeYun Park and Jennifer L. Etnier

Scientists have explored the potential benefits of exercise for cognitive performance since the 1950s with interest in both a single session of exercise (acute) and long-term participation in exercise (chronic). When reviewed meta-analytically, acute exercise is shown to have a small, positive

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Serge Brand, Markus Gerber, Flora Colledge, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse and Sebastian Ludyga

aerobic exercise, while others (facial emotion matching) were not. For want of evidence, and, therefore, highly speculative, we advance the following hypotheses. First, there is substantive evidence showing that acute exercise enhances performance on tasks that rely on the prefrontal cortex, such as those

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Jeffrey D. Labban and Jennifer L. Etnier

; Etnier et al., 1997 ; Lambourne & Tomporowski, 2010 ) reviews of the literature converge on the notion that acute exercise can have a positive impact on cognitive performance when the cognitive task is performed after the exercise session. When reviewing this literature, one important consideration is

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André L. Estrela, Aline Zaparte, Jeferson D. da Silva, José Cláudio Moreira, James E. Turner and Moisés E. Bauer

changes in immunological, inflammatory, and hormonal parameters that can be measured at rest, over the course of a day, or in response to acute exercise ( Gleeson, 2002 ; Kellmann, 2010 ; Meeusen et al., 2013 ). Although the effects of a high volume of training have been well described in young adults

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Jacqueline M. Del Giorno, Eric E. Hall, Kevin C. O’Leary, Walter R. Bixby and Paul C. Miller

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.

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Yu-Kai Chang, Chia-Liang Tsai, Tsung-Min Hung, Edmund Cheung So, Feng-Tzu Chen and Jennifer L. Etnier

The purpose of this study is to extend the literature by examining the effects of an acute bout of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise on the executive functions of planning and problem solving assessed using a Tower of London Task (TOL Task). Forty-two participants were randomly assigned into either exercise or control group, and performed the TOL Task, before and immediately following exercise or a control treatment. The exercise group performed 30 min of exercise on a stationary cycle at moderate to vigorous intensity while the control group read for the same length of time. Results indicated that the exercise group achieved improvements in TOL Task scores reflecting the quality of planning and problem solving, but not in those reflecting rule adherence and performance speed. These findings indicate that an acute bout of aerobic exercise has facilitative effects on the executive functions of planning and problem solving.

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Chun-Chih Wang, Brandon Alderman, Chih-Han Wu, Lin Chi, Su-Ru Chen, I-Hua Chu and Yu-Kai Chang

Recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated significant positive effects of acute exercise on cognitive function ( Chang, Labban, Gapin, & Etnier, 2012 ; Lambourne & Tomporowski, 2010 ; McMorris & Hale, 2015 ). However, the effects reported to describe the association between

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Kara K. Palmer, Matthew W. Miller and Leah E. Robinson

A growing body of research has illuminated beneficial effects of a single bout of physical activity (i.e., acute exercise) on cognitive function in school-age children. However, the influence of acute exercise on preschoolers’ cognitive function has not been reported. To address this shortcoming, the current study examined the effects of a 30-min bout of exercise on preschoolers’ cognitive function. Preschoolers’ cognitive function was assessed following a single bout of exercise and a single sedentary period. Results revealed that, after engaging in a bout of exercise, preschoolers exhibited markedly better ability to sustain attention, relative to after being sedentary (p = .006, partial eta square = .400). Based on these findings, providing exercise opportunities appears to enhance preschoolers’ cognitive function.

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Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko and Susan M. Bane

This study was designed to examine whether the exercise environment affected individuals’ anxiety responses. Participants either sat quietly (control) or exercised in either a laboratory or a setting of their own choosing. State anxiety measures were assessed at baseline, during activity, and following 15 minutes of rest after activity. Analyses indicated that the exercising conditions significantly reduced anxiety, whereas the control condition did not. Additional analyses indicated that anxiety increased from baseline during exercise and then was reduced upon exercise cessation. The implications of these findings for the examination of acute exercise effects on psychological function are discussed.