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Christopher J. Brush, Ryan L. Olson, Peter J. Ehmann, Steven Osovsky and Brandon L. Alderman

The purpose of this study was to examine possible dose–response and time course effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on the core executive functions of inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Twenty-eight participants (14 female; Mage = 20.5 ± 2.1 years) completed a control condition and resistance exercise bouts performed at 40%, 70%, and 100% of their individual 10-repetition maximum. An executive function test battery was administered at 15 min and 180 min postexercise to assess immediate and delayed effects of exercise on executive functioning. At 15 min postexercise, high-intensity exercise resulted in less interference and improved reaction time (RT) for the Stroop task, while at 180 min low- and moderate-intensity exercise resulted in improved performance on plus–minus and Simon tasks, respectively. These findings suggest a limited and task-specific influence of acute resistance exercise on executive function in healthy young adults.

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Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell and Ali Brian

Executive function refers to a set of top-down mental processes that are essential for attention, focusing, and concentration ( Diamond, 2013 ). Executive function processes include a wide range of adaptive skills, such as inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and it is

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SeYun Park and Jennifer L. Etnier

age as a moderator, but conducted the analyses on all studies in their review and so did not report on the effects specific to cognitive performance postexercise. Two recent meta-analyses of this literature have limited their focus to studies on executive function (EF) and have also examined age group

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Ines Pfeffer and Tilo Strobach

impact of trait self-control, executive functions, and their interactions on the intention–behavior gap in the context of physical activity. Trait Self-Control and Physical Activity Behavior Although motivation to carry out a goal-directed behavior is important, the ability to translate this motivation

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Alison B. Pritchard Orr, Kathy Keiver, Chris P. Bertram and Sterling Clarren

anxiety disorders ( Paley & O’Connor, 2009 ). One of the cardinal deficits affecting neuropsychological function in individuals with PAE is in executive function (EF) ( Kodituwakku, 2009 ; Rasmussen, 2005 ). EF refers to a set of cognitive abilities required to attain goals efficiently in nonroutine

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Linda Paschen, Tim Lehmann, Miriam Kehne and Jochen Baumeister

). These competences focus goal-directed behavior and are based on executive functions (EF). As an example, in the course of the school day, children let themselves being more easily distracted by disturbing stimuli due to fatigue. Thus, children with well-developed EF are able to better focus on relevant

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Tobias Lundgren, Lennart Högman, Markus Näslund and Thomas Parling

Elite level ice hockey places high demands on player’s physical and technical attributes as well as on cognitive and executive functions. There is, however, a notable lack of research on these attributes and functions. The present study investigated executive function with selected tests from the D-KEFS test battery among 48 ice hockey players and compared them to a standardized sample. Results show that ice hockey players’ scores were significantly higher on Design Fluency (DF) compared with the standardized sample score. Elite players’ scores were not significantly higher than those of lower-league hockey players. A significant correlation was found between on-ice performance and Trail Making Test (TMT) scores. Exploratory analysis showed that elite-level center forwards scored significantly higher on DF than did players in other positions. Future research should investigate whether assessment of executive function should be taken into account, in addition to physical and technical skills, when scouting for the next ice hockey star.

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Chun-Chih Wang, Chien-Heng Chu, I-Hua Chu, Kuei-Hui Chan and Yu-Kai Chang

This study was designed to examine the modulation of executive functions during acute exercise and to determine whether exercise intensity moderates this relationship. Eighty college-aged adults were recruited and randomly assigned into one of the four following groups: control, 30%, 50%, and 80% heart rate reserve. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) was administered during each intervention. The results indicated that the majority of the WCST performances were impaired in the high exercise intensity group relative to those of the other three groups, whereas similar performance rates were maintained in the low- and moderate-intensity groups. These findings suggest that transient hypofrontality occurs during high-intensity exercise, but not during low- and moderate-intensity exercises. Future research aimed at employing the dual-mode theory, and applying the reticular-activating hypofrontality model is recommended to further the current knowledge.

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Yvonne G. Ellis, Dylan P. Cliff, Steven J. Howard and Anthony D. Okely

developmental period for cognition is the early years, where higher-order cognitive control processes or also named executive functions (EFs) develop rapidly ( 20 ). EF includes 3 interrelated functions: inhibition (suppressing attention), cognitive flexibility (ability to shift mental sets), and working memory

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Christiano Robles Rodrigues Alves, Bruno Gualano, Pollyana Pereira Takao, Paula Avakian, Rafael Mistura Fernandes, Diego Morine and Monica Yuri Takito

The aim of this study was to compare the effects of acute aerobic and strength exercises on selected executive functions. A counterbalanced, crossover, randomized trial was performed. Forty-two healthy women were randomly submitted to three different conditions: (1) aerobic exercise, (2) strength exercise, and (3) control condition. Before and after each condition, executive functions were measured by the Stroop Test and the Trail Making Test. Following the aerobic and strength sessions, the time to complete the Stroop “non-color word” and “color word” condition was lower when compared with that of the control session. The performance in the Trail Making Test was unchanged. In conclusion, both acute aerobic and strength exercises improve the executive functions. Nevertheless, this positive effect seems to be task and executive function dependent.