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Special Issue "The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Paul D. Loprinzi

Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, 215 Turner Center, University, MS, 38677, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: Cognition; consolidation; executive function; encoding; episodic memory; exercise; memory; physical activity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research demonstrates that exercise is favorably associated with numerous cardiometabolic-related outcomes. Emerging research also demonstrates that both acute and chronic exercise may induce neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects on the brain.

For an upcoming Special Issue in the Journal of Clinical Medicine (PubMed indexed), we invite investigators to contribute original research articles (including animal and human studies; experimental studies will be given priority), as well as review articles, that will stimulate the continuing efforts to better understand the relationship between exercise and cognition. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The effects of acute exercise on cognition
  • The effects of chronic exercise on cognition
  • The effects of imposed versus habitual exercise on cognition
  • The effects of exercise on different cognitive functions
  • Whether exercise intensity and duration moderates the effects of exercise on cognition
  • Whether demographic (e.g., age, gender, race-ethnicity, weight status) and cognitive parameters (e.g., mild cognitive impairment) moderates the effects of exercise on cognition
  • Whether exercise modality has a differential effect on cognition
  • Cellular, molecular, and psychological mechanisms through which exercise may influence cognition

Dr. Paul D. Loprinzi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cognition
  • dementia
  • executive function
  • exercise
  • memory
  • physical activity

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Non-Aβ-Dependent Factors Associated with Global Cognitive and Physical Function in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Pilot Multivariate Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8020224
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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Abstract
Recent literature highlights the importance of identifying factors associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Actual validated biomarkers include neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid assessments; however, we investigated non-Aβ-dependent factors associated with dementia in 12 MCI and 30 AD patients. Patients [...] Read more.
Recent literature highlights the importance of identifying factors associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Actual validated biomarkers include neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid assessments; however, we investigated non-Aβ-dependent factors associated with dementia in 12 MCI and 30 AD patients. Patients were assessed for global cognitive function (Mini-Mental state examination—MMSE), physical function (Physical Performance Test—PPT), exercise capacity (6-min walking test—6MWT), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), brain volume, vascular function (flow-mediated dilation—FMD), inflammatory status (tumor necrosis factor—α ,TNF- α, interleukin-6, -10 and -15) and neurotrophin receptors (p75NTR and Tropomyosin receptor kinase A -TrkA). Baseline multifactorial information was submitted to two separate backward stepwise regression analyses to identify the variables associated with cognitive and physical decline in demented patients. A multivariate regression was then applied to verify the stepwise regression. The results indicated that the combination of 6MWT and VO2max was associated with both global cognitive and physical function (MMSE = 11.384 + (0.00599 × 6MWT) − (0.235 × VO2max)); (PPT = 1.848 + (0.0264 × 6MWT) + (19.693 × VO2max)). These results may offer important information that might help to identify specific targets for therapeutic strategies (NIH Clinical trial identification number NCT03034746). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
Open AccessArticle
A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Aerobic and Coordinative Training on Neural Correlates of Inhibitory Control in Children
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8020184
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
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Abstract
Whereas aerobic training has found to be beneficial for inhibitory control, less is known on the efficiency of other exercise types in children. The present study compared the effects of aerobic and coordinative training on behavioral and neurophysiological measures of inhibitory control. Forty-five [...] Read more.
Whereas aerobic training has found to be beneficial for inhibitory control, less is known on the efficiency of other exercise types in children. The present study compared the effects of aerobic and coordinative training on behavioral and neurophysiological measures of inhibitory control. Forty-five children were randomly assigned (1:1:1 ratio) to groups performing aerobic training, coordinative training or assisted homework sessions over 10 weeks. Before and after intervention, all participants completed a Flanker task. The P300 component of event-related potentials elicited from the task was recorded via electroencephalography. Additionally, aerobic fitness and gross-motor skills were assessed using 20 m Shuttle Run and Heidelberg Gross-Motor Test, respectively. Statistical analyses revealed no time by group interactions for the P300 component (amplitude, latency), p = 0.976, η2 = 0.007, and behavioral performance (reaction time, accuracy), p = 0.570, η2 = 0.045. In contrast, there was a significant group-difference in pre- to post-test changes in aerobic fitness, p = 0.008, η2 = 0.246, with greater improvements following aerobic and coordinative training compared to assisted homework sessions. In conclusion, no differences regarding the efficiency of aerobic and coordinative training for the enhancement of inhibitory control were found as both exercise programs failed to elicit changes in speed and accuracy of stimulus evaluation and the allocation of attentional resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Brain Gray Matter Volume Is Modulated by Visual Input and Overall Learning Success but Not by Time Spent on Learning a Complex Balancing Task
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8010009
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
To better understand the process of neuroplasticity, this study assesses brain changes observed by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in response to two different learning conditions. Twenty-two young, healthy subjects learned slacklining, a complex balancing task, with either their eyes open (EO, n = 11) [...] Read more.
To better understand the process of neuroplasticity, this study assesses brain changes observed by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in response to two different learning conditions. Twenty-two young, healthy subjects learned slacklining, a complex balancing task, with either their eyes open (EO, n = 11) or their eyes closed (EC, n = 11). The learning took place three times per week for four weeks, with learning periods of 1 hour, providing a total of 12 hours of learning. The scanning and testing protocols were applied at three time-points: (1) immediately before learning (baseline), (2) immediately afterwards (post-test), and (3) two months afterwards (follow-up). The EO group performed better on the task-specific test. Significant group*time interaction effects were found in sensory-motor areas at the post-test, with increases in the EO group only. The results suggest that VBM-observed brain changes in response to learning a complex balancing task vary depending on the learning success and the availability of visual input, and not solely on the amount of time spent on learning. These findings should be taken into account by future studies using similar methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Mental Fatigue on Cognitive and Aerobic Performance in Adolescent Active Endurance Athletes: Insights from a Randomized Counterbalanced, Cross-Over Trial
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(12), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7120510
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this randomized counterbalanced, 2 × 2 cross-over study was to investigate the effects of mental fatigue on cognitive and aerobic performance in adolescent active endurance athletes. Ten active male endurance athletes (age = 16 ± 1.05 years, height = 1.62 [...] Read more.
The aim of this randomized counterbalanced, 2 × 2 cross-over study was to investigate the effects of mental fatigue on cognitive and aerobic performance in adolescent active endurance athletes. Ten active male endurance athletes (age = 16 ± 1.05 years, height = 1.62 ± 0.04 m, body mass = 55.5 ± 4.2 kg) were familiarized to all experimental procedures on day 1. On days 2 and 3, participants provided a rating of mental fatigue before and after completing a 30 min Stroop test that measures selective attention capacity and skills and their processing speed ability (mentally fatigued condition), or a 30 min control condition in a randomized counterbalanced order. They then performed d2 test and a 20 m multistage fitness test (MSFT), which was used to measure selective and sustained attention and visual scanning speed (i.e., concentration performance (CP) and total number of errors (E)) and aerobic fitness (i.e., maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and velocity at which VO2max occurs (vVO2max)), respectively. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was assessed after a MSFT. Subjective ratings of mental fatigue were higher after the Stroop task (p < 0.001). CP (p = 0.0.1), E (p < 0.001), vVO2max (p = 0.020), and estimated VO2max (p = 0.021) values were negatively affected by mental fatigue. RPE were significantly higher in the mentally fatigued than in the control conditions (p = 0.02) post-MSFT. Mental fatigue impairs aerobic and cognitive performance in active male endurance athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
The Experimental Effects of Acute Exercise on Long-Term Emotional Memory
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(12), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7120486
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emerging work suggests that acute, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise may help to subserve episodic memory of neutral stimuli. Less investigated, however, is whether acute exercise is associated with enhanced memory recognition of emotional stimuli, which was the purpose of this experiment. A parallel-group randomized [...] Read more.
Emerging work suggests that acute, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise may help to subserve episodic memory of neutral stimuli. Less investigated, however, is whether acute exercise is associated with enhanced memory recognition of emotional stimuli, which was the purpose of this experiment. A parallel-group randomized controlled experiment was employed. Participants (mean age = 20 yr) were randomized into an exercise (n = 17) or control group (n = 17). The exercise group engaged in a 15-min bout of moderate-intensity treadmill walking. Emotional memory recognition was assessed via images from the International Affective Picture System, including assessments of varying degrees of valence and arousal. Memory recognition was assessed at 1 day, 7 days, and 14 days post-memory encoding. We observed a significant main effect for time (F(2) = 104.2, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.77) and a significant main effect for valence–arousal classification (F(4) = 21.39, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.40), but there was no significant time by group interaction (F(2) = 1.09, p = 0.34, η2p = 0.03), classification by group interaction (F(4) = 0.12, p = 0.97, η2p = 0.01), time by classification interaction (F(8) = 1.78, p = 0.08, η2p = 0.05), or time by classification by group interaction (F(8) = 0.78, p = 0.62, η2p = 0.02). In conclusion, emotional memory recognition decreased over the 14-day follow-up period and this rate of memory decay was not altered by acute moderate-intensity exercise engagement. We discuss these findings in the context of exercise intensity and the temporal effects of exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Exercise Facilitates the N450 Inhibition Marker and P3 Attention Marker during Stroop Test in Young and Older Adults
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(11), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7110391
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
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Abstract
While considerable evidence supporting the positive influence of acute exercise on cognitive inhibition, little is known regarding the underlying cognitive processes. There is also little neuroelectric evidence regarding the effects on older adults of acute exercise-elicited cognitive benefits. Thus, our objective was to [...] Read more.
While considerable evidence supporting the positive influence of acute exercise on cognitive inhibition, little is known regarding the underlying cognitive processes. There is also little neuroelectric evidence regarding the effects on older adults of acute exercise-elicited cognitive benefits. Thus, our objective was to explore the possible neural markers underlying improved cognitive inhibition, with particular attention to the N450 and P3 components, following acute exercise. Another aim was to investigate whether cognitive gains seen in young adults are replicated in older adults. Twenty-four young males and 20 older males underwent either a single bout of aerobic exercise or video-watching in counterbalanced order. Afterwards, cognitive inhibition was assessed by the Stroop test. Results revealed that acute exercise resulted in shorter response time regardless of age or congruency. Regarding the neuroeletric data, acute exercise resulted in larger P3 amplitude and smaller N450 amplitude regardless of congruency or age. Further, following exercise, changes in response time interference were correlated with changes in incongruent N450 amplitude. Collectively, acute exercise-facilitated conflict monitoring and attention control, as signified by the N450 and P3 components, may be the underlying processes leading to better Stroop performance, with conflict monitoring having a stronger association with task performance. Further, cognitive gains resulting from acute exercise were found to the same extent in both young and older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Acute Exercise Mode on Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Task Switching Performance
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(10), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7100301
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 24 September 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have consistently reported a positive effect of acute exercise on cognition, particularly on executive function. However, most studies have focused on aerobic and resistant forms of exercise. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of ‘open-skill’ with ‘closed-skill’ [...] Read more.
Previous studies have consistently reported a positive effect of acute exercise on cognition, particularly on executive function. However, most studies have focused on aerobic and resistant forms of exercise. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of ‘open-skill’ with ‘closed-skill’ exercise (defined in terms of the predictability of the performing environment) on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production and task switching performance. Twenty young adult males participated in both closed (running) and open (badminton) skill exercise sessions in a counterbalanced order on separate days. The exercise sessions consisted of 5 min of warm up exercises followed by 30 min of running or badminton. The exercise intensity was set at 60% (±5%) of the heart rate reserve level (HRR) with HR being monitored by a wireless heart rate monitor. Blood samples were taken and participation in a task-switching paradigm occurred before and after each exercise session. Results showed no differences in serum BDNF or task-switching performance at the pre-test stage, however, badminton exercise resulted in significantly higher serum BDNF levels (a proxy for levels of BDNF in the brain) and near significant smaller global switching costs relative to running. This study has provided preliminary evidence in support the relative benefits of open-skills exercises on BDNF and executive function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Dose-Response Relationship between Exercise Duration and Executive Function in Older Adults
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090279
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
This study aimed to determine the dose-response relationship between exercise duration and task switching in older adults. Acute moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 20 min resulted in shorter response times than control and 10-min sessions in the heterogeneous, non-switch, and switch conditions, but [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the dose-response relationship between exercise duration and task switching in older adults. Acute moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 20 min resulted in shorter response times than control and 10-min sessions in the heterogeneous, non-switch, and switch conditions, but not in the homogeneous condition. Additionally, linear and cubic trends between exercise duration and global switching performance as well as local switching performance were revealed with faster times being predicted by longer duration exercise; however, the cubic relationship resulted in performance following the 45-min session being not significantly different from the other three sessions. Acute aerobic moderate intensity exercise for 20 min is an effective duration to improve task switching. Although a longer duration of exercise is not optimal for benefiting task switching, it does not harm task switching in older adults and hence may be of value for other health-related reasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Aerobic Capacity Is Not Associated with Most Cognitive Domains in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis—A Cross-Sectional Investigation
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090272
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
(1) Background: Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS). Staying physically fit may be associated with preservation of cognitive performance in persons with MS (pwMS); (2) Objective: To investigate the association between aerobic capacity and the cognitive domains of information processing, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS). Staying physically fit may be associated with preservation of cognitive performance in persons with MS (pwMS); (2) Objective: To investigate the association between aerobic capacity and the cognitive domains of information processing, learning and memory, and verbal fluency as well as single and composite z-scores of the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological tests (BRBNT) in pwMS; (3) Methods: All subjects first performed the BRBNT and then a maximal oxygen consumption (VO2-max) test on a bicycle ergometer as a measure of aerobic capacity. Simple and multiple (adjusting for age, sex, and education level) regression analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship between aerobic capacity and cognitive performance in different domains. Published international norms were used to compute z-scores for each individual and composite BRBNT score. Furthermore, cognitive impairment was defined as one or more z-scores ≤−1.5 standard deviation (SD) of healthy controls; (4) Results: Eighty-four subjects were included (44.9 ± 9 years, 16.3 ± 2 education years, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS): 2.6 ± 1.4, MS-type (relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, or secondary progressive): 73/6/5, disease duration: 9.9 ± 7 years, VO2-max: 28.4 ± 7.0 mL O2/min/kg). No significant associations between aerobic capacity and cognitive performance in the individual BRBNT tests were found, except that a weak relationship was found between aerobic capacity and the composite processing speed z-score (R2 = 0.06, p = 0.02). The average global BRBNT z-score (−0.2 ± 0.66) was not associated with aerobic capacity. Comparison of the cognitively impaired group (34.5%) with the nonimpaired group (65.5%) showed lower aerobic capacity in the impaired group (25.9 ± 1 vs. 29.7 ± 1 mLO2/min/kg, p = 0.02); (5) Conclusions: Limited support was found for an association between performance in most cognitive domains and aerobic capacity in the present MS group with a third of patients showing signs of cognitive impairments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
The Enhanced Interactive Physical and Cognitive Exercise System (iPACESTM v2.0): Pilot Clinical Trial of an In-Home iPad-Based Neuro-Exergame for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090249
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Given increasing longevity worldwide, older adults and caregivers are seeking ways to curb cognitive decline especially for those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, now mild neurocognitive disorder, mNCD, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-V). This quasi-experimental, within-subjects pilot clinical [...] Read more.
Given increasing longevity worldwide, older adults and caregivers are seeking ways to curb cognitive decline especially for those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, now mild neurocognitive disorder, mNCD, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-V). This quasi-experimental, within-subjects pilot clinical trial was designed to replicate and extend the study of cognitive benefits for MCI by improving upon our prior interactive Physical and Cognitive Exercise Study (iPACESTM v1.0) by increasing the usability of the neuro-exergame and exploring possible underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Older adults were enrolled in a three-month, in-home trial of a portable neuro-exergame (iPACES™ v2.0) where participants pedaled and steered along a virtual bike path (Memory Lane™). Neuropsychological function was assessed at baseline after component familiarization intervals (e.g., two weeks of exercise-only, game-only, etc.) and after three months of interactive neuro-exergame intervention. Fourteen participants were enrolled in the study and seven completed the final evaluation. Intent-to-treat analyses were conducted with imputed missing data (total n = 14). Significant improvement in executive function (Stroop) was found (d = 0.68, p = 0.02) only. Changes in salivary biomarkers (cortisol and insulin-like growth factor 1; IGF-1) were significantly associated with improved cognition. Further research is needed, but pilot data suggest that a portable in-home neuro-exergame may be an additional, practical tool to fight back against cognitive decline and dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation of the Time Course Effects of Acute Exercise on False Episodic Memory
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(7), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7070157
Received: 27 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Previous experimental work suggests that acute exercise may positively influence the accurate recall of past episodic events. However, few studies have examined whether acute exercise also reduces the number of false episodic memories. We evaluated this paradigm in conjunction with an examination of [...] Read more.
Previous experimental work suggests that acute exercise may positively influence the accurate recall of past episodic events. However, few studies have examined whether acute exercise also reduces the number of false episodic memories. We evaluated this paradigm in conjunction with an examination of the temporal effects of acute exercise, which have previously been shown to play an important role in subserving episodic memory function. Twenty young adults participated in three experimental visits, including a non-exercise control visit, a visit involving an acute bout (20 min) of moderate-intensity exercise occurring prior to the memory task, and a visit involving an acute bout of exercise occurring during the encoding of the memory task. All visits were counterbalanced and occurred at least 24 h apart. The Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) Paradigm, involving a separate word list trial for each visit, was employed to assess accurate and false episodic memory recall. For each visit, a short-term (immediate recall) and a long-term (25-min delay) memory recall was assessed. For both time points, the visit that involved exercise prior to encoding resulted in better short-term and long-term memory function (F(2) = 11.56, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.38). For both time points, the control visit resulted in a greater number of false memories. These findings suggest that acute moderate-intensity exercise may help to increase the accurate recall of past episodic memories and may help to reduce the rate of false memories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Randomized Controlled Trial Considering Varied Exercises for Reducing Proactive Memory Interference
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(6), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7060147
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We evaluated the effects of exercise on proactive memory interference. Study 1 (n = 88) employed a 15-min treadmill walking protocol, while Study 2 (n = 88) included a 15-min bout of progressive maximal exertion treadmill exercise. Each study included four [...] Read more.
We evaluated the effects of exercise on proactive memory interference. Study 1 (n = 88) employed a 15-min treadmill walking protocol, while Study 2 (n = 88) included a 15-min bout of progressive maximal exertion treadmill exercise. Each study included four distinct groups, in which groups of 22 participants each were randomly assigned to: (a) exercise before memory encoding, (b) a control group with no exercise, (c) exercise during memory encoding, and (d) exercise after memory encoding (i.e., during memory consolidation). We used the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to assess proactive memory interference. In both studies, the group that exercised prior to memory encoding recalled the most words from list B (distractor list) of the RAVLT, though group differences were not statistically significant for Study 1 (walking exercise) (p = 0.521) or Study 2 (high-intensity exercise) (p = 0.068). In this sample of young adults, high intensity exercise prior to memory encoding showed a non-significant tendency to attenuate impairments in recall attributable to proactive memory interference. Thus, future work with larger samples is needed to clarify potential beneficial effects of exercise for reducing proactive memory interference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Effects of Acute Exercise on Iconic Memory, Short-Term Episodic, and Long-Term Episodic Memory
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7060146
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present experiment evaluated the effects of acute exercise on iconic memory and short- and long-term episodic memory. A two-arm, parallel-group randomized experiment was employed (n = 20 per group; Mage = 21 year). The experimental group engaged in an acute [...] Read more.
The present experiment evaluated the effects of acute exercise on iconic memory and short- and long-term episodic memory. A two-arm, parallel-group randomized experiment was employed (n = 20 per group; Mage = 21 year). The experimental group engaged in an acute bout of moderate-intensity treadmill exercise for 15 min, while the control group engaged in a seated, time-matched computer task. Afterwards, the participants engaged in a paragraph-level episodic memory task (20 min delay and 24 h delay recall) as well as an iconic memory task, which involved 10 trials (at various speeds from 100 ms to 800 ms) of recalling letters from a 3 × 3 array matrix. For iconic memory, there was a significant main effect for time (F = 42.9, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.53) and a trend towards a group × time interaction (F = 2.90, p = 0.09, η2p = 0.07), but no main effect for group (F = 0.82, p = 0.37, η2p = 0.02). The experimental group had higher episodic memory scores at both the baseline (19.22 vs. 17.20) and follow-up (18.15 vs. 15.77), but these results were not statistically significant. These findings provide some suggestive evidence hinting towards an iconic memory and episodic benefit from acute exercise engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Effects of Acute Exercise and Meditation on Parameters of Cognitive Function
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(6), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7060125
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (496 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Single bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation have been shown to improve cognitive function. Yet to be examined in the literature, we sought to examine the effects of a combination of acute bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation on cognitive function among young [...] Read more.
Single bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation have been shown to improve cognitive function. Yet to be examined in the literature, we sought to examine the effects of a combination of acute bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation on cognitive function among young adults. Participants (n = 66, mean (SD) age = 21 (2)) were randomly assigned to walk then meditate, meditate then walk, or to sit (inactive control). All walking and meditation bouts were 10 min in duration. Participants’ cognition was monitored before and after the intervention using Identification, Set Shifting, Stroop, and Trail Making tasks. Additionally, a subjective assessment of cognitive function was implemented before and after the intervention. Significant group by time interaction effects were observed when examining the Stroop congruent trials (P = 0.05). Post hoc paired t-tests revealed that reaction time significantly decreased from baseline to post-intervention in both combination groups (P < 0.001 for both), but not in the control group (P = 0.09). Regarding all other cognitive assessments, there were no significant group by time interaction effects (P > 0.05). Cognitive function was not substantially affected by a combination of brief meditation and exercise, though there is evidence to suggest that this combination may have beneficial effects on certain aspects of cognition. Future work should be conducted to evaluate the influences of different doses of exercise and meditation on cognitive functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Beneficial Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function during Peripheral Arterial Disease: Potential Involvement of Myokines and Microglial Anti-Inflammatory Phenotype Enhancement
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050653
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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Abstract
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), leading to intermittent claudication, critical ischemia with rest pain, and/or tissue damage, is a public health issue associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Little is known about the link between PAD, cognitive function, and whether exercise might reduce cognitive [...] Read more.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), leading to intermittent claudication, critical ischemia with rest pain, and/or tissue damage, is a public health issue associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Little is known about the link between PAD, cognitive function, and whether exercise might reduce cognitive dysfunction in PAD patients, as previously observed concerning both quality of life and prognosis. This review highlights the fact that patients suffering from PAD often demonstrate cognitive dysfunction characterized by reduced performance in nonverbal reasoning, reduced verbal fluency, and decreased information processing speed and a greater risk for progression toward dementia. Further, the data presented support that physical exercise, likely through myokine secretion and microglial anti-inflammatory phenotype enhancement, might participate in the cognition protection in common clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessReview
Applications of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Neuroimaging in Exercise–Cognition Science: A Systematic, Methodology-Focused Review
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(12), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7120466
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract
For cognitive processes to function well, it is essential that the brain is optimally supplied with oxygen and blood. In recent years, evidence has emerged suggesting that cerebral oxygenation and hemodynamics can be modified with physical activity. To better understand the relationship between [...] Read more.
For cognitive processes to function well, it is essential that the brain is optimally supplied with oxygen and blood. In recent years, evidence has emerged suggesting that cerebral oxygenation and hemodynamics can be modified with physical activity. To better understand the relationship between cerebral oxygenation/hemodynamics, physical activity, and cognition, the application of state-of-the art neuroimaging tools is essential. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is such a neuroimaging tool especially suitable to investigate the effects of physical activity/exercises on cerebral oxygenation and hemodynamics due to its capability to quantify changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxyHb) non-invasively in the human brain. However, currently there is no clear standardized procedure regarding the application, data processing, and data analysis of fNIRS, and there is a large heterogeneity regarding how fNIRS is applied in the field of exercise–cognition science. Therefore, this review aims to summarize the current methodological knowledge about fNIRS application in studies measuring the cortical hemodynamic responses during cognitive testing (i) prior and after different physical activities interventions, and (ii) in cross-sectional studies accounting for the physical fitness level of their participants. Based on the review of the methodology of 35 as relevant considered publications, we outline recommendations for future fNIRS studies in the field of exercise–cognition science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Sex in Memory Function: Considerations and Recommendations in the Context of Exercise
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7060132
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
There is evidence to suggest that biological sex plays a critical role in memory function, with sex differentially influencing memory type. In this review, we detail the current evidence evaluating sex-specific effects on various memory types. We also discuss potential mechanisms that explain [...] Read more.
There is evidence to suggest that biological sex plays a critical role in memory function, with sex differentially influencing memory type. In this review, we detail the current evidence evaluating sex-specific effects on various memory types. We also discuss potential mechanisms that explain these sex-specific effects, which include sex differences in neuroanatomy, neurochemical differences, biological differences, and cognitive and affect-related differences. Central to this review, we also highlight that, despite the established sex differences in memory, there is little work directly comparing whether males and females have a differential exercise-induced effect on memory function. As discussed herein, such a differential effect is plausible given the clear sex-specific effects on memory, exercise response, and molecular mediators of memory. We emphasize that future work should be carefully powered to detect sex differences. Future research should also examine these potential exercise-related sex-specific effects for various memory types and exercise intensities and modalities. This will help enhance our understanding of whether sex indeed moderates the effects of exercise and memory function, and as such, will improve our understanding of whether sex-specific, memory-enhancing interventions should be developed, implemented, and evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessBrief Report
The Beneficial Effect of Acute Exercise on Motor Memory Consolidation is Modulated by Dopaminergic Gene Profile
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050578
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 21 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 27 April 2019
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Abstract
When aerobic exercise is performed following skilled motor practice, it can enhance motor memory consolidation. Previous studies have suggested that dopamine may play a role in motor memory consolidation, but whether it is involved in the exercise effects on consolidation is unknown. Hence, [...] Read more.
When aerobic exercise is performed following skilled motor practice, it can enhance motor memory consolidation. Previous studies have suggested that dopamine may play a role in motor memory consolidation, but whether it is involved in the exercise effects on consolidation is unknown. Hence, we aimed to investigate the influence of dopaminergic pathways on the exercise-induced modulation of motor memory consolidation. We compared the effect of acute exercise on motor memory consolidation between the genotypes that are known to affect dopaminergic transmission and learning. By combining cluster analyses and fitting linear models with and without included polymorphisms, we provide preliminary evidence that exercise benefits the carriers of alleles that are associated with low synaptic dopamine content. In line with previous reports, our findings implicate dopamine as a modulator of the exercise-induced effects on motor memory consolidation, and suggest exercise as a potential clinical tool to counteract low endogenous dopamine bioavailability. Further experiments are needed to establish causal relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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Open AccessHypothesis
Strengthening the Brain—Is Resistance Training with Blood Flow Restriction an Effective Strategy for Cognitive Improvement?
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(10), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7100337
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aging is accompanied by a decrease in physical capabilities (e.g., strength loss) and cognitive decline. The observed bidirectional relationship between physical activity and brain health suggests that physical activities could be beneficial to maintain and improve brain functioning (e.g., cognitive performance). However, the [...] Read more.
Aging is accompanied by a decrease in physical capabilities (e.g., strength loss) and cognitive decline. The observed bidirectional relationship between physical activity and brain health suggests that physical activities could be beneficial to maintain and improve brain functioning (e.g., cognitive performance). However, the exercise type (e.g., resistance training, endurance training) and their exercise variables (e.g., load, duration, frequency) for an effective physical activity that optimally enhance cognitive performance are still unknown. There is growing evidence that resistance training induces substantial brain changes which contribute to improved cognitive functions. A relative new method in the field of resistance training is blood flow restriction training (BFR). While resistance training with BFR is widely studied in the context of muscular performance, this training strategy also induces an activation of signaling pathways associated with neuroplasticity and cognitive functions. Based on this, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that resistance training with BFR is a promising new strategy to boost the effectiveness of resistance training interventions regarding cognitive performance. To support our hypothesis, we provide rationales of possible adaptation processes induced by resistance training with BFR. Furthermore, we outline recommendations for future studies planning to investigate the effects of resistance training with BFR on cognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
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