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Jennifer L Etnier, Diana H. Romero and Tinna Traustadóttir

Evidence suggests that cognitive ability declines with advancing age but that aerobic fitness can serve to minimize or even negate these declines. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age, fitness, and retention. Twenty younger (M=24.2 years) and 18 older adults (M=66.6 years) practiced on the mirror star trace until they achieved a criterion. VO2max was measured. The number of trials required to reach criterion was predicted by VO2max, p < .001. and age, p < .02. Retention distance was also predicted by VO2max, p < .001, and age, p < .001. Analysis of relative alpha change at P3 and F4 indicated that a relative increase in left-hemisphere alpha and a relative decrease in right-hemisphere alpha were associated with retention errors. Thus, older and less aerobically fit adults required more trials to reach criterion and performed less well at retention, and changes in brain activity were associated with retention errors.

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Sebastian Ludyga, Thomas Gronwald and Kuno Hottenrott

Although men and women are suggested to vary in resistance to fatigue, possible sex difference in its central component have rarely been investigated via electroencephalography (EEG). Therefore, we examined differences in cortical activity between male and female cyclists (n = 26) during cycling exercise. Participants performed an incremental test to derive the anaerobic threshold from the lactate power curve. In addition, cyclists’ cortical activity was recorded with EEG before and during cycling exercise. Whereas women showed higher frontal alpha and beta activity at rest, no sex-specific differences of relative EEG spectral power occurred during cycling at higher intensity. Women and men’s brains respond similarly during submaximal cycling, as both sexes show an inverted U-shaped curve of alpha power. Therefore, sex differences observable at rest vanish after the onset of exercise.

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Brad D. Hatfield, Daniel M. Landers and William J. Ray

In the initial phase of the study (Study 1) electrocortical arousal (EEG alpha activity) was assessed at four standardized sites (T3, T4, 01, and 02) from male and female (N = 17) international-caliber marksmen during rifle shooting performance. The task consisted of the execution of 40 shots at a conventional indoor target from the standing position. During each shot preparation, a significant increase in left temporal and occipital alpha activity was demonstrated, while the right hemispheric activity remained constant. Hemispheric laterality ratios (T4:T3) evidenced a significant shift toward right-brain dominance as the time to trigger pull approached. In the second phase of the study (Study 2) male and female (N = 15) marksmen performed the same shooting task and, additionally, the resultant EEG performance patterns were contrasted to those observed during the mental processing of sterotyped left-brain and right-brain mental tasks. Observed EEG patterns, that is, temporal ratios, during shooting replicated the results of Study 1, and furthermore, indicated that the laterality indices derived during shooting exhibited a more pronounced shift to right-brain processing than did those derived during right-brain mental task performance. The EEG data obtained during the comparative mental task states were used to interpret the shooting performance EEG findings in terms of the implications from bilateral or split-brain cognitive process theory.

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Karla A. Kubitz and Konstantinos Pothakos

In the present study, participants were randomly assigned to an exercise or a nonexercise group to measure brain activation (spontaneous EEG activity), affect, and cognitive functioning before and after a 15-min treatment period. Exercisers (a) sat quietly for 5 min, (b) exercised for 15 min, (c) recovered for 5 min, and (d) completed a 15-min vigilance task. Nonexercisers did not exercise. There was a significant (a) Condition × Band × Time interaction for EEG activity, (b) Condition × Time interaction for Activation-Deactivation Adjective Checklist (AD ACL) scores, and (c) Condition × Time interaction for reaction times (RTs). Post hoc tests showed (a) no significant group effects at the baseline and 15-min vigilance periods, and (b) significant group effects at the postexercise and 5-min vigilance periods. Exercisers had lower levels of brain activation (i.e., more theta and alpha activity and less beta activity), higher AD ACL scores, and slower RTs than nonexercisers during these periods.