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Linda Paschen, Tim Lehmann, Miriam Kehne and Jochen Baumeister

effect of acute exercise on inhibition that was assessed by cognitive tasks. Many studies apply aerobic exercises with simple repetitive movements characterized by low cognitive demands as stimuli. Examples such as running on a treadmill are primarily intended to change cardiovascular performance, but

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Kristy Martin, Kevin G. Thompson, Richard Keegan and Ben Rattray

sought to examine individual characteristics and quantify two broad aspects of participants’ lives likely to require self-regulation on a regular basis, cognitive demand at their place of work, and participation in sports or exercise. Occupational cognitive demand was used as a proxy measure of self

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Lauren A. Brown, Eric E. Hall, Caroline J. Ketcham, Kirtida Patel, Thomas A. Buckley, David R. Howell and Srikant Vallabhajosula

assessing the recovery of athletes. 25 The sensory and cognitive demands and biomechanics of turning gait are different and perhaps more complex than regular gait as turning while walking requires an athlete to respond to an internal balance perturbation because of the need to change direction. 26 Hence

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E. Dean Ryan and Jeff Simons

Male college students (N= 39) learned two novel perceptual motor tasks differing in demand across a cognitive-motor continuum, under conditions of physical practice (PP), mental practice (MP), or no practice (NP). On each task, the PP group was given 12 actual trials; the MP group received one actual, nine mental, then two actual trials; and the NP group received one actual trial, 10 minutes rest, then two actual trials. Results showed no difference in learning between MP and NP groups on the predominantly motor task, with the PP group significantly superior to both. On the predominantly cognitive task, however, the MP group performed as well as the PP group, and both were significantly superior to the NP group. Two additional questions concerning the influences of imaging ability and relative frequency of mental practice rendered equivocal results.

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Sara M. Scharoun, David A. Gonzalez, Eric A. Roy and Pamela J. Bryden

). Additional support derives from recent reports that the development of online control is constrained by executive systems ( Ruddock et al., 2014 ) and can be predicted, in part, by improved action representation ( Fuelscher, Williams, & Hyde, 2015 ). The current study manipulated cognitive demand by means of

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Paul R. Surburg, David L. Porretta and Vins Sutlive

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of imagery practice as supplementary practice in the performance of a throwing task. A secondary purpose was to ascertain if different cognitive demands of a motor task affected the use of this supplementary practice. Forty adolescents with mild mental retardation were randomly assigned to the following groups: low cognitive loading-physical practice, low cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice, high cognitive loading-physical practice, high cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice. Subjects engaged in seven practice sessions during which performance scores of a throwing task were recorded. Groups supplemented with imagery practice were superior in performance to nonimagery groups. A higher cognitive loading of the task did not enhance the use of this type of supplementary practice more than a lower loading. The results of this study reflect the efficacy of imagery practice as a means to improve motor performance of students with mild mental retardation.

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Jocelyn Faubert and Lee Sidebottom

This present article discusses an approach to training high-level athletes’ perceptual-cognitive skills. The intention herein is to (a) introduce concepts in regard to what may be required by athletes to optimally process sports-related visual scenes at the perceptual-cognitive level; (b) present an experimental method of how it may be possible to train this capacity in athletes while discussing the necessary features for a successful perceptual-cognitive training outcome; and (c) propose that this capacity may be trainable even among the highest-level athletes. An important suggestion is that a simple difference between sitting and standing testing conditions may strongly influence speed thresholds with this task, which is analogous to game movement dynamics in sports, indicating shared resources between such high-level perceptual-cognitive demands and mechanisms involved in posture control. A discussion follows emphasizing how a perceptual-cognitive training approach may be useful as an integral component of athletic training. The article concludes with possible future directions.

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Caterina Pesce and Michel Audiffren

This study investigated the effects of acute exercise on 53 young (16–24 years) and 47 older (65–74 years) adults’ switch-task performance. Participants practiced sports requiring either low or high cognitive demands. Both at rest and during aerobic exercise, the participants performed two reaction time tasks that differed in the amount of executive control involved in switching between global and local target features of visual compound stimuli. Switch costs were computed as reaction time differences between switch and nonswitch trials. In the low demanding task, switch costs were sensitive only to age, whereas in the high demanding task, they were sensitive to acute exercise, age, and sport-related cognitive expertise. The results suggest that acute exercise enhances cognitive flexibility and facilitates complex switch-task performance. Both young age and habitual practice of cognitively challenging sports are associated with smaller switch costs, but neither age nor cognitive expertise seem to moderate the relationship between acute exercise and switch-task performance.

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Sheng Li, Woo-Hyung Park and Adam Borg

The study investigated squeezing reaction time (RT) in response to a visual cue during rhythmic voluntary breathing at 0.6 Hz paced by a metronome, breath holding, or at rest in 13 healthy subjects. Rhythmic voluntary breathing slowed down RT, only in the expiratory phase with accompanied changes in the length of respiratory phases, while breath-holding reduced RT. The prolonged RT during voluntary expiratory phases and the absence of changes in RT during voluntary inspiratory phases are most likely related to disproportionally increased cognitive demands during the expiratory phase of voluntary breathing. The absence of changes in RT during voluntary inspiration is likely to be compensated by respiratory-motor facilitation mechanisms in this phase. Shortened RT during breath holding is possibly associated with increased attention.

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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.