Rickard, A., Bolton, L., King, J., & Burns, S. (2013). Correlation of acute aerobic exercise and short term visual memory. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2377.

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This study determined the effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on short-term visual memory in university students (M = 8; F = 2). Ss exercised aerobically three times a week for at least 30 minutes each session. The first memory test was a baseline pre-test. The other two memory tests were after bouts of exercise (moderate and exhaustive). The Borg scale was used to measure perceived exertion. The rating of perceived exertion during moderate exercise was between 13 (moderate) and 15 (hard). The rating of perceived exertion of exhaustive exercise was between 17 (very hard) and 19 (extremely hard). Exercise was completed on Monark cycle ergometers. The memory tests consisted of 10 shapes on a slide show. Ss recorded what they remembered in order directly after finishing the slide show.

Ss scored higher in the pre-test than on the post-exhaustive exercise test. Post-moderate exercise scores were not significantly different to the pre-test, but were significantly higher than post-exhaustive exercise scores.

Implication. Existing literature that states exhaustive exercise decreases cognitive function was supported by the experiment.

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