Perez, W., Kelleran, K., Grieco, C., Thompson, A., & Swain, D. (2013). The effect of cycling exercise intensity on cognitive function utilizing a modified Stroop Test. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2372.

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This study determined the effects of moderate, near-maximal, and supramaximal intensity exercise on cognition. Ss (M = 7; F = 9) performed incremental exercise to establish maximum oxygen consumption and maximum aerobic power. Ss performed a Stroop color-word interference test at rest and during three cycling intensities (60%, 95%, and 110% maximum aerobic power) randomized over three days. Duration of cycling was adjusted to equate energy expenditure between trials (90 seconds at 60%, 60 seconds at 95%, 50 seconds at 110% maximum aerobic power). The Stroop test recorded color and word naming associations by showing response times and errors.

Response times during exercise for word naming and color naming were significantly faster than at rest. There were no significant differences between the three exercise intensities.

Implication. Exercise enhanced cognitive function by improving Stroop response times, even at supramaximal intensity. Different intensities did not have differential effects on cognitive capacity.

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