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Acute exercise and aerobic fitness influence selective attention during visual search.

Bullock T, Giesbrecht B - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear.The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction.The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UCSB Attention Lab, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-min intervals over a 2 h 16 min test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Plots illustrate RPE (A), heart rate (B), raw cortisol and alpha-amylase data (C,E), and cortisol and alpha-amylase data corrected to baseline (D,F). Error bars represent SEM.
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Figure 2: Plots illustrate RPE (A), heart rate (B), raw cortisol and alpha-amylase data (C,E), and cortisol and alpha-amylase data corrected to baseline (D,F). Error bars represent SEM.

Mentions: Participants in the exercise group perceived their exertion to be “light/somewhat hard” in the first half of the session, increasing to “somewhat hard” after 102 min and “somewhat hard/heavy” at 136 min (Figure 2A). A repeated measures ANOVA on the exercise group (the baseline condition was excluded because participants were not exercising at this stage) with the within participants’ factor session (34, 68, 102, 136 min) confirmed a significant increase in mean RPE as a function of time spent cycling [F(3,36) = 31.09, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.72]. Post hoc paired samples t-tests confirmed significant increases between 34 and 68 min [t(12) = -2.79, p = 0.016, q = 0.016], 68 and 102 min [t(12) = -4.39, p = 0.001, q = 0.002], and 102 to 136 min [t(12) = -7.45, p = 0.001, q = 0.002].


Acute exercise and aerobic fitness influence selective attention during visual search.

Bullock T, Giesbrecht B - Front Psychol (2014)

Plots illustrate RPE (A), heart rate (B), raw cortisol and alpha-amylase data (C,E), and cortisol and alpha-amylase data corrected to baseline (D,F). Error bars represent SEM.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4227487&req=5

Figure 2: Plots illustrate RPE (A), heart rate (B), raw cortisol and alpha-amylase data (C,E), and cortisol and alpha-amylase data corrected to baseline (D,F). Error bars represent SEM.
Mentions: Participants in the exercise group perceived their exertion to be “light/somewhat hard” in the first half of the session, increasing to “somewhat hard” after 102 min and “somewhat hard/heavy” at 136 min (Figure 2A). A repeated measures ANOVA on the exercise group (the baseline condition was excluded because participants were not exercising at this stage) with the within participants’ factor session (34, 68, 102, 136 min) confirmed a significant increase in mean RPE as a function of time spent cycling [F(3,36) = 31.09, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.72]. Post hoc paired samples t-tests confirmed significant increases between 34 and 68 min [t(12) = -2.79, p = 0.016, q = 0.016], 68 and 102 min [t(12) = -4.39, p = 0.001, q = 0.002], and 102 to 136 min [t(12) = -7.45, p = 0.001, q = 0.002].

Bottom Line: However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear.The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction.The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UCSB Attention Lab, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-min intervals over a 2 h 16 min test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus