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Julian A. Reed, Gilles Einstein, Erin Hahn, Steven P. Hooker, Virginia P. Gross and Jen Kravitz

Purpose:

To examine the impact of integrating physical activity with elementary curricula on fluid intelligence and academic achievement.

Methods:

A random sample of 3rd grade teachers integrated physical activity into their core curricula approximately 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week from January 2008 to April 2008. Noninvasive fluid intelligence cognitive measures were used along with State-mandated academic achievement tests.

Results:

Experimental Group children averaged close to 1200 pedometer steps per integration day, thus averaging 3600 steps per week. Children in the Experimental Group performed significantly better on the SPM Fluid Intelligence Test. Children in the Experimental Group also performed significantly better on the Social Studies State mandated academic achievement test. Experimental Group children also received higher scores on the English/Language Arts, Math and Science achievements tests, but were not statistically significant compared with Control Group children. Children classified in Fitnessgram’s Healthy Fitness Zone for BMI earned lower scores on many of the SPM Fluid Intelligence components.

Discussion:

This investigation provides evidence that movement can influence fluid intelligence and should be considered to promote cognitive development of elementary-age children. Equally compelling were the differences in SPM Fluid Intelligence Test scores for children who were distinguished by Fitnessgram’s BMI cut points.

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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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Eric E. Wickel

Background:

This study examined associations between sedentary time, physical activity (PA), and executive function among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

Methods:

Sedentary time and PA (light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA)) were objectively assessed at 9 and 15 years, while executive function (inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence) were assessed at 15 years. Regression models were used to examine associations.

Results:

Sedentary time at 9 years predicted fluid intelligence at 15 years (B = 0.031), whereas increased sedentary time from 9 to 15 years predicted higher inhibition (B = 0.003), working memory (B = 0.074), and fluid intelligence (B = 0.029). Relatively lower levels of working memory at 15 years were predicted from increased levels of light PA, moderate PA, and MVPA from 9 to 15 years (B = –0.075, –0.293, and –0.173, respectively). At 15 years, inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence were significantly associated with sedentary time (B = 0.003, 0.055, and 0.045, respectively).

Conclusions:

Childhood sedentary time and PA may affect executive function at 15 years; however, prospective studies are needed to examine the concurrent change in both sedentary time and PA with executive function.

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Jennifer L. Etnier and Daniel M. Landers

The primary purpose of this study was to examine differences in performance on fluid and crystallized intelligence tasks as a function of age and fitness. A secondary purpose was to examine the influence of age and fitness on the beneficial effects that practice has on both performance and retention on these tasks. Fitness was assessed in 41 older and 42 younger participants who were then randomly assigned to either experimental or control conditions. Participants performed repeated trials on two cognitive tasks during acquisition and retention, with the experimental group practicing for 100 trials and the control group practicing for 20 trials. Older participants performed better than younger participants on the crystallized intelligence task: however, younger participants performed better than older participants on the fluid intelligence task. On the fluid intelligence task, older fit participants performed better than older unfit participants. Learning did occur on the fluid task and differed as a function of age and fitness. Learning did not occur on the crystallized task.

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K. Anders Ericsson

Traditional theories of aging claim that basic processing speed and memory capacities show inevitable decline with increasing age. Recent research, however, has shown that older experts in some domains are able to maintain their superior performance into old age. but even they display the typical age-related decline in performance on psychometric tests of fluid intelligence. The study of expert performance shows that adults retain the capacity to acquire and maintain performance with the appropriate type of training and practice, even speeded actions and many physiological adaptations. In fact, experts’ performance keeps improving for several decades into adulthood and typically reaches its peak between 30 and 50 years of age. The experts can then maintain their attained performance level into old age by regular deliberate practice. Much of the observed decline in older adults’ performance can be attributed to age-related reductions in engagement in domain-related activities—in particular, regular deliberate practice.

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Julian A. Reed, Andrea L. Maslow, Savannah Long and Morgan Hughey

Object:

Increased importance on academic achievement has resulted in many school districts focusing on improved academic performance leading to reductions in physical education time. The purpose was to examine the effects of 45 minutes of daily physical education on the cognitive ability, fitness performance and body composition of African American elementary and middle school youth.

Methods:

Participants completing the informed consent in grades 2nd to 8th were included in the study. A pre/posttest design was used with repeated measures analysis of variance. Experimental and control school participants were pretested on the cognitive measures (ie, Fluid Intelligence and Perceptual Speed) and FitnessgramR physical fitness test items (eg, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and muscular endurance, body composition) in September 2009 and posttested in May 2010.

Results:

Experimental elementary and middle school participants observed significantly greater improvements compared with control elementary and middle school participants on 7 of 16 fitness and body composition measures and on 8 of 26 cognitive measures. These fitness, body composition, and cognitive improvement differences were more noticeable among elementary and middle school females.

Conclusions:

Providing 45 minutes of daily physical education can perhaps increase cognitive ability while increasing fitness and decreasing the prevalence of overweight and obese youth.

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Fitness in Children and Youth Inas Rashad Kelly * Mary Ann Phillips * Michelle Revels * Dawud Ujamaa * 5 2010 7 7 3 3 333 333 342 342 10.1123/jpah.7.3.333 Examining the Impact of Integrating Physical Activity on Fluid Intelligence and Academic Performance in an Elementary School Setting: A

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Iréné Lopez-Fontana, Carole Castanier, Christine Le Scanff and Alexandra Perrot

memory, fluid intelligence, and abstract nonverbal reasoning (e.g.,  Kortte, Horner, & Windham, 2002 ; Salthouse, 1992 , 1993 ) was assessed. Using a multitask approach with good internal reliability and a satisfactory internal structure between cognitive tests appeared to provide an adequate measure

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Margina Ruiter, Charly Eielts, Sofie Loyens and Fred Paas

prefrontal cortex in working-memory capacity, executive attention, and general fluid intelligence: an individual-differences perspective . Psychon Bull Rev . 2002 ; 9 ( 4 ): 637 – 671 . PubMed ID: 12613671 doi:10.3758/BF03196323 10.3758/BF03196323 12613671 39. Hillman CH , Snook EM , Jerome GJ

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

. ( 2011 ). Performance enhancement with low stress and anxiety modulated by cognitive flexibility . Psychiatry Investigations, 8 , 221 – 226 . doi:10.4306/pi.2011.8.3.221 10.4306/pi.2011.8.3.221 Jaeggi , S.M. , Buschkuehl , M. , Jonides , J. , & Perrig , W.J. ( 2008 ). Improving fluid