Study provides insights on the effects of exercise on cognitive performance

October 12, 2018, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new British Journal of Psychology study has looked at the details behind how cognitive performance may improve during aerobic exercise.

Electroencephalography readings were taken as 24 participants performed a task while at rest and during exercise involving different postures: seated on or pedalling a stationary bicycle, as well as standing or walking on a treadmill. (Visual working is the ability to maintain visual information to serve the needs of ongoing tasks.)

The investigators found that both and upright posture improved visual working memory compared with passive and seated conditions. Their analyses also suggest where the neural origins of these observed effects take place.

"Our findings hold implications not only for the field of cognitive psychology, wherein our knowledge has been primarily derived from seated, resting participants, but also for our understanding of at large. Although modern society has evolved to become more and more sedentary, our brains may nevertheless perform best while our bodies are active," said lead author Dr. Thomas Töllner, of Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

Explore further: New research suggests high-intensity exercise boosts memory

More information: Gordon Dodwell et al, Electroencephalographic evidence for improved visual working memory performance during standing and exercise, British Journal of Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12352

Related Stories

New research suggests high-intensity exercise boosts memory

November 22, 2017
The health advantages of high-intensity exercise are widely known but new research from McMaster University points to another major benefit: better memory.

Greener neighborhoods may be good for children's brains

September 6, 2018
Children living in urban greener neighborhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a British Journal of Educational Psychology study. Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about ...

20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately after

June 5, 2013
Researchers report that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants' speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ...

Study highlights the importance of physical activity and aerobic exercise for healthy brain function

December 2, 2015
Regardless of gender, young adults who have greater aerobic fitness also have greater volume of their entorhinal cortex, an area of the brain responsible for memory. Better aerobic fitness however does not appear to impact ...

Study finds aerobic exercise benefits memory in persons with multiple sclerosis

November 1, 2013
A research study headed by Victoria Leavitt, Ph.D. and James Sumowski, Ph.D., of Kessler Foundation, provides the first evidence for beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on brain and memory in individuals with multiple ...

Aerobic exercise boosts brain power

December 13, 2012
The physical benefits of regular exercise and remaining physically active, especially as we age, are well documented. However, it appears that it is not only the body which benefits from exercise, but the mind too. The evidence ...

Recommended for you

Suicide risk in abused teen girls linked to mother-daughter conflict

October 18, 2018
Teenage girls who were maltreated as children are more likely to entertain suicidal thoughts if the relationship with their mother is poor and the degree of conflict between the two of them high.

Study shows how bias can influence people estimating the ages of other people

October 17, 2018
A trio of researchers from the University of New South Wales and Western Sydney University has discovered some of the factors involved when people make errors in estimating the ages of other people. In their paper published ...

Infants are more likely to learn when with a peer

October 16, 2018
Infants are more likely to learn from on-screen instruction when paired with another infant as opposed to viewing the lesson alone, according to a new study.

Researchers use brain cells in a dish to study genetic origins of schizophrenia

October 16, 2018
A study in Biological Psychiatry has established a new analytical method for investigating the complex genetic origins of mental illnesses using brain cells that are grown in a dish from human embryonic stem cells. Researchers ...

Income and wealth affect the mental health of Australians, study shows

October 16, 2018
Australians who have higher incomes and greater wealth are more likely to experience better mental health throughout their lives, new research led by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has found.

Study suggests biological basis for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances in older adults

October 15, 2018
UC San Francisco researchers, in collaboration with the unique Brazilian Biobank for Aging Studies (BBAS) at the University of São Paulo, have shown that the earliest stages of the brain degeneration associated with Alzheimer's ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet Oct 12, 2018
I've always observed that when I walk my mind walks also: one foot in front of the other in a logically straight line, one thought after the other in a logical train of cognitive events wandering around my mind.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.