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Julia León, Aurelio Ureña, Manuel Jorge Bolaños, Alfonso Bilbao and Antonio Oña

We have compared the effects of different 12-week exercise programs on simple and choice reaction and movement times in persons 61 to 84 years old. One hundred thirty-eight volunteers were randomized to either a control group, a two-day exercise group (two 60-min sessions a week of aerobic exercises), or a two-day physical plus cognitive exercise group (two 60-min sessions a week of aerobic and cognitive exercises). At follow-up, the aerobic and cognitive exercise program was found to have resulted in significant positive effects. Improvements were found in the two-day physical plus cognitive exercise group in all of the reaction parameters, particularly improvement in choice reaction time, which is used in most daily activities. Our results suggest that to improve reaction time values, it is advisable to include cognitive features into a physical exercise routine.

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Gert-Jan Pepping and François-Xavier Li

Studies on affordance perception commonly report systematic errors; a finding that is at odds with the observation that everyday motor behavior is accurate. The present study investigated whether the means by which perceptual performance is measured could explain the reported errors. Perception of overhead reachability and reaction time were measured using a verbal and an actual reaching response in a standing reach, and a reach-and-jump. Results show that participants accurately perceived their action boundaries for both tasks and in both response conditions. A simple reach, however, took less time to initiate (1,094 ms) than a reach-and jump (1,214 ms). Interestingly, the verbal response took considerably more time to initiate (1,424 ms) than the actual reach (1,154 ms). These results suggest that making verbal judgments about affordances is a different task than actually acting on them. It is therefore concluded that the use of conscious judgments to measure perceptual performance should be considered with care.

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William A. Sparrow, Rezaul K. Begg and Suzanne Parker

Visual reaction time (RT) was measured in 10 older men (mean age, 71.1 years) and gender-matched controls (mean age, 26.3 years) when standing (single task) and when walking on a motor-driven treadmill (dual task). There were 90 quasirandomly presented trials over 15 min in each condition. Longer mean and median RTs were observed in the dual task compared to the single task. Older males had significantly slower mean and median RTs (315 and 304 ms, respectively) than the younger group (273 and 266 ms, respectively) in both task conditions. There were no age or condition effects on within-subject variability. Both groups showed a trend of increasing RT over the 90 single task trials but when walking only the younger group slowed. These novel findings demonstrate high but sustained attention by older adults when walking. It is proposed that the motor task’s attentional demands might contribute to their slower preferred walking speed.

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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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Kelsey Picha, Carolina Quintana, Amanda Glueck, Matt Hoch, Nicholas R. Heebner and John P. Abt

In athletic situations, reaction time (RT), or the time it takes one to respond to a stimulus, 1 is crucial to an individual’s ability to protect themselves from opponents and dangers of the sport. Previous research has found that athletes have faster RTs and movements compared with nonathletic

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Twan ten Haaf, Selma van Staveren, Danilo Iannetta, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen, Maria F. Piacentini, Carl Foster, Leo Koenderman, Hein A.M. Daanen and Jos J. de Koning

monitor performance do not fit in an athlete’s training schedule. Therefore, sport scientists search for training monitoring tools that are easy to perform in training practice and are objective, inexpensive, and not demanding. 3 Reaction time is a measurement that fits these requirements and has been

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Jose Morales, Carla Ubasart, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, Luis-Millán González, David Fukuda and Emerson Franchini

physical aspects concerning performance in judo, include maximum isometric strength, reaction time (RT), and balance. 11 , 12 Few studies have indicated a decrease in maximal isometric strength after RWL in grappling combat sports, 13 , 14 while the majority of studies reviewed did not report significant

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Cindy N. Nguyen, Reuben N. Clements, Lucas A. Porter, Nicole E. Clements, Matthew D. Gray, Dustin J. Killian and Russell T. Baker

with concussion. 7 , 8 , 10 For this reason, it is particularly important to assess a variety of factors, such as cognitive function, ocular function, postural stability, self-reported symptoms, and reaction time in a concussed individual. 2 , 8 Clinically used concussion assessment tools include the

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Chris Englert and Alex Bertrams

In the current study, we consider that optimal sprint start performance requires the self-control of responses. Therefore, start performance should depend on athletes’ self-control strength. We assumed that momentary depletion of self-control strength (ego depletion) would either speed up or slow down the initiation of a sprint start, where an initiation that was sped up would carry the increased risk of a false start. Applying a mixed between- (depletion vs. nondepletion) and within- (before vs. after manipulation of depletion) subjects design, we tested the start reaction times of 37 sport students. We found that participants’ start reaction times decelerated after finishing a depleting task, whereas it remained constant in the nondepletion condition. These results indicate that sprint start performance can be impaired by unrelated preceding actions that lower momentary self-control strength. We discuss practical implications in terms of optimizing sprint starts and related overall sprint performance.

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Deborah A. Jehu, Yves Lajoie and Nicole Paquet

the obstacles with the nondominant foot once per week for 5 weeks would influence obstacle clearance and reaction time (RT) parameters in older adults. A wealth of research has examined the influence of stepping over one obstacle (e.g., Chou & Draganich, 1998 ; Rhea & Rietdyk, 2007 ), stepping over