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Helena Kosmat and Andrea Vranic

This research investigates the efficacy of a dance intervention of moderate length (10 weeks, 45 min/week) on a sample of old-old adults living in a residential care setting. The study focused on the effect of the intervention on aspects of cognitive functioning (short-term memory, executive functioning). In addition, changes in general self-efficacy and life satisfaction were investigated. Twenty-four older adults (mean age M = 80.8), with no cognitive impairments, participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to two programs: the experimental group attended the dance intervention, while the active control group was involved in an alternative (nondance) program. A pretest, posttest, and follow-up measurement was conducted. A 2 × 3 mixed design ANOVA revealed benefits in short-term memory and executive functioning for the trained group, but not for the active control, and this benefit was maintained at the 5 months follow-up. These results suggest that training procedures, based on dance, could improve cognitive functioning in the old-old.

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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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Deborah A.M. Jehu, Nicole Paquet and Yves Lajoie

speed, but no improvements in obstacle negotiation under single- or dual-task conditions following group balance training or group balance plus cognitive training in older adults ( Plummer-D’Amato et al., 2012 ). The training program involved balance, gait, and agility stations, and the cognitive

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Cay Anderson-Hanley, Molly Maloney, Nicole Barcelos, Kristina Striegnitz and Arthur Kramer

Dementia cases are on the rise and researchers seek innovative ways to prevent or ameliorate cognitive impairment in later life. Some research has reported that combining mental and physical exercise may benefit cognition more than either alone. This randomized pilot trial examined the feasibility and cognitive benefit for older adults (n = 30) of a single bout of neuro-exergaming (physical activity with cognitive training) using an interactive physical and cognitive exercise system (iPACES), compared with that of exergaming or neurogaming alone. Intent-to-treat and sensitivity analyses were conducted using repeated-measures ANOVA, controlling for age, sex, and education. A significant interaction effect was found for executive function (Color Trails 2), with a significant improvement in the neuro-exergaming condition. Results demonstrate feasibility for older adults to use a novel and theoretically-derived neuro-exergame, and also provide promising new evidence that neuro-exergaming can yield greater cognitive benefit than either of its component parts.

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Amanda L. Penko, Jacob E. Barkley, Anson B. Rosenfeldt and Jay L. Alberts

tracts overlapping in the striatum placing individuals at a deficit for neural resources available to successfully complete concurrent motor-cognitive task. 3 , 22 To improve performance under dual-task constructs, motor-cognitive training is warranted. Single-modal training involves training motor and

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Emmanuel Ducrocq, Mark Wilson, Tim J. Smith and Nazanin Derakshan

(error bars =  SEM ). Discussion We examined whether a computer-based adaptive cognitive training method targeting the efficiency of executive control functions of WM could improve performance in tennis players when confronted with elevated levels of competitive pressure. It was predicted that improving

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Peter Catteeuw, Bart Gilis, Johan Wagemans and Werner Helsen

This two-experiment study aims to investigate the role of expertise in offside decision making (Experiment 1) and the effect of perceptual-cognitive training (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, a video-based offside decision-making task followed by a frame recognition task demonstrated a bias toward flag errors and a forward memory shift for less-successful elite-standard assistant referees that is in line with the predictions from the flash-lag effect. In Experiment 2, an offside decision-making training program demonstrated a substantial progress from pre- to posttest for response accuracy, but not for accuracy of memory in the frame recognition task. In both experiments, no differences were found for visual scan patterns. First, these results suggest that less-successful elite-standard assistant referees are more affected by the flash-lag effect. Second, an off-field perceptual-cognitive training program can help assistant referees to deal with the perceptual consequences of the flash-lag illusion and to readjust their decision-making process accordingly.

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Katja Linde and Dorothee Alfermann

Background:

Physical and cognitive activity seems to be an effective strategy by which to promote age-sensitive fluid cognitive abilities in older adults.

Method:

In this randomized controlled trial, 70 healthy senior citizens (age 60–75) were allocated to a physical, cognitive, combined physical plus cognitive, and waiting control group. The trial assessed information processing speed, short-term memory, spatial relations, concentration, reasoning, and cognitive speed.

Results:

In contrast to the control group, the physical, cognitive, and combined training groups enhanced their concentration immediately after intervention. Only the physical training group showed improved concentration 3 months later. The combined training group displayed improved cognitive speed both immediately and three months after intervention. The cognitive training group displayed improved cognitive speed 3 months after intervention.

Conclusions:

Physical, cognitive, and combined physical plus cognitive activity can be seen as cognition-enrichment behaviors in healthy older adults that show different rather than equal intervention effects.

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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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Daniel J. De Witt

Cognitive training is a broad term referring to a wide variety of psychological techniques that help individuals alter their own thoughts and perceptions. Biofeedback training allows individuals to become aware of typical patterns of physiological responding to environmental events. Two studies investigated whether a training program which combined these techniques would help athletes reduce competitive stress reactions and improve competitive performance. Studies of football players and basketball players found statistically significant differences (p < .05) between pre- and posttreatment comparisons of performance ratings. In the second study, a treatment group improved performance whereas a contact control group did not. Subjects in the treatment condition reported feeling more comfortable and confident in discussions subsequent to the training.