Aerobic Fitness Unrelated to Acquisition of Spatial Relational Memory in College-Aged Adults

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Michigan State University
  • 2 University of Calgary
  • 3 University of Alberta
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While compelling evidence indicates that poorer aerobic fitness relates to impairments in retrieving information from hippocampal-dependent memory, there is a paucity of research on how aerobic fitness relates to the acquisition of such relational information. Accordingly, the present investigation examined the association between aerobic fitness and the rate of encoding spatial relational memory—assessed using a maximal oxygen consumption test and a spatial configuration task—in a sample of 152 college-aged adults. The findings from this investigation revealed no association between aerobic fitness and the acquisition of spatial relational memory. These findings have implications for how aerobic fitness is characterized with regard to memory, such that aerobic fitness does not appear to relate to the rate of learning spatial–relational information; however, given previously reported evidence, aerobic fitness may be associated with a greater ability to recall relational information from memory.

Chandler, McGowan, and Pontifex are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. Burles is with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. Mathewson and Scavuzzo are with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Pontifex (pontifex@msu.edu) is corresponding author.
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