Beasman, K. M. (2006). The effect of an acute bout of physical activity on specific cognitive processes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2900

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This study attempted to clarify the purported link between acute physical activity and specific components of cognitive function. Young adults (M = 9; F = 9) performed an executive function task (Switch Task), a short-term memory task (Brown-Peterson), and a long-term memory task (Free Recall) before and immediately after 40 minutes of cycling at 60% VO2peak, 40 minutes of sitting on a cycle ergometer, and 40 minutes of quiet rest, each condition seven days apart.

There were no significant differences in performance from pretest to posttest on the executive function or the short-term memory task. Delayed free recall of primacy and recency words was preserved following exercise compared to exercise-control and rest interventions.

Implication. Ss' capacity to encode and later to retrieve information was enhanced by a bout of exercise.

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