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Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Attention-Related Neural Oscillations

Chaire, A; Becke, A; Duezel, E; (2020) Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Attention-Related Neural Oscillations. Frontiers in Neuroscience , 14 , Article 239. 10.3389/fnins.2020.00239. Green open access

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Abstract

Cognitive functions, such as working memory (WM) and attention, have been shown to benefit from physical exercise. Quantifying frequency-band-specific neural oscillatory patterns during the use of such cognitive functions can provide insight into exercise-induced benefits in the brain. Specifically, we investigated whether a 4-month physical exercise training influenced theta and alpha power measured in visual WM and attention tasks. The delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task required mnemonic discrimination of similar visual stimuli, akin to pattern separation, while the visual-attention search (VAS) task required detecting the presence of a specific object (i.e., target) in an image. Behavioral and electroencephalographic data were acquired during a DMS visual WM task and VAS task both before and after the intervention. Forty-three sedentary young adults (19–34 years) were pseudorandomly assigned to a training group (indoor treadmill, n = 20) or to a control group (n = 23). Compared to the preintervention baseline, the exercise group showed increased frontal alpha power (9–12 Hz) during the VAS task after the intervention. In addition, alpha power changes correlated positively with fitness changes. Behaviorally, there were no exercise-related effects on reaction times or accuracy in either task. Our findings substantiate that aerobic training of sedentary young adults may influence neural dynamics underlying visual attention rather than visual WM and mnemonic discrimination.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Attention-Related Neural Oscillations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00239
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.00239
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Neurosciences, Neurosciences & Neurology, physical exercise, alpha power, visual attention, EEG, young adults, THETA-BAND POWER, AEROBIC FITNESS, COGNITIVE FUNCTION, ALPHA, DYNAMICS, BRAIN, ASSOCIATION, PERFORMANCE, INCREASES
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097393
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