Pontifex, M. B., Parks, A. C., O'Neil, P. C., Egner, A. R., Warning, J. T., Fenn, K. M., & Pfeiffer, K. A. (2013). Poorer aerobic fitness predicts reduced integrity of cognition across multiple memory systems. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2383.

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This study determine the extent to which cardiorespiratory fitness related to the integrity of multiple memory systems in college students (M = 32; F = 32). Ss were tested over three days in areas related to implicit memory, working memory, long-term memory, and aerobic fitness.

There was an association between aerobic fitness and memory function such that Ss with lower cardiorespiratory fitness exhibited poorer implicit memory acquisition and poorer performance on tests of working memory. The greatest effects were observed for task conditions requiring the greatest amounts of working memory, and poorer long-term memory retention.

Implication. Cardiorespiratory fitness may be necessary for the optimal development of neural networks underlying memory systems. This study highlights one of the reasons that athletes with aerobic training should do better in school.

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