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Regular Exercise Enhances Task-Based Industriousness in Laboratory Rats.

Laurence NC, Labuschagne LG, Lura BG, Hillman KL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Individuals vary greatly in their willingness to select and persist in effortful tasks, even when high-effort will knowingly result in high-reward.These increases in performance led to quicker reward obtainment and greater reward gain over time, and could not be accounted for simply by increased locomotor activity.Our results suggest that a basic exercise regimen can enhance effortful goal-directed behaviour in goal-directed tasks, which highlights a potential productivity benefit of staying physically active.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

ABSTRACT
Individuals vary greatly in their willingness to select and persist in effortful tasks, even when high-effort will knowingly result in high-reward. Individuals who select and successively complete effortful, goal-directed tasks can be described as industrious. Trying to increase one's industriousness is desirable from a productivity standpoint, yet intrinsically challenging given that effort expenditure is generally aversive. Here we show that in laboratory rats, a basic physical exercise regimen (20 min/day, five days/week) is sufficient to increase industriousness across a battery of subsequent testing tasks. Exercised rats outperformed their non-exercised counterparts in tasks designed to tax effort expenditure, strategic decision-making, problem solving and persistence. These increases in performance led to quicker reward obtainment and greater reward gain over time, and could not be accounted for simply by increased locomotor activity. Our results suggest that a basic exercise regimen can enhance effortful goal-directed behaviour in goal-directed tasks, which highlights a potential productivity benefit of staying physically active.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Open Field Assessment.A) Schematic of open field arena indicating placement of four novel objects (O) and four food rewards (f). B) Schematic of open field arena indicating 40x40 cm square center zone excluded for assessment of thigmotaxis. C) Data from Week 1, indicating no differences between groups in any of the measures. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.
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pone.0129831.g002: Open Field Assessment.A) Schematic of open field arena indicating placement of four novel objects (O) and four food rewards (f). B) Schematic of open field arena indicating 40x40 cm square center zone excluded for assessment of thigmotaxis. C) Data from Week 1, indicating no differences between groups in any of the measures. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.

Mentions: The Exercise and Control groups had been allocated based on three days of open field assessment (5 min/day) conducted in Week 1, prior to the start of the exercise regimen. Rats were put in a 60x60x22cm open field containing four novel objects (small toys changed daily) and four food rewards (Kellogg’s Froot Loops), as illustrated in Fig 2A. Novel objects and food rewards were used to assess exploratory behaviour and food motivation. For each session, EthoVision tracking software was used to calculate the following: distance travelled, run speed, time spent in center/perimeter zones (Fig 2B), time to first food reward, and time spent exploring novel objects. The arena was cleaned with disinfectant (ClearKens TEGO 2000) between animals. Experimental groups (Exercise and Control, for each n = 8) were then assigned based on a counterbalance of baseline locomotor activity (Fig 2C). Three days of identical open field assessment (5 min/day) were conducted at the end of the testing task phase to assess end-of-study activity patterns in Weeks 11 and 13.


Regular Exercise Enhances Task-Based Industriousness in Laboratory Rats.

Laurence NC, Labuschagne LG, Lura BG, Hillman KL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Open Field Assessment.A) Schematic of open field arena indicating placement of four novel objects (O) and four food rewards (f). B) Schematic of open field arena indicating 40x40 cm square center zone excluded for assessment of thigmotaxis. C) Data from Week 1, indicating no differences between groups in any of the measures. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4470589&req=5

pone.0129831.g002: Open Field Assessment.A) Schematic of open field arena indicating placement of four novel objects (O) and four food rewards (f). B) Schematic of open field arena indicating 40x40 cm square center zone excluded for assessment of thigmotaxis. C) Data from Week 1, indicating no differences between groups in any of the measures. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.
Mentions: The Exercise and Control groups had been allocated based on three days of open field assessment (5 min/day) conducted in Week 1, prior to the start of the exercise regimen. Rats were put in a 60x60x22cm open field containing four novel objects (small toys changed daily) and four food rewards (Kellogg’s Froot Loops), as illustrated in Fig 2A. Novel objects and food rewards were used to assess exploratory behaviour and food motivation. For each session, EthoVision tracking software was used to calculate the following: distance travelled, run speed, time spent in center/perimeter zones (Fig 2B), time to first food reward, and time spent exploring novel objects. The arena was cleaned with disinfectant (ClearKens TEGO 2000) between animals. Experimental groups (Exercise and Control, for each n = 8) were then assigned based on a counterbalance of baseline locomotor activity (Fig 2C). Three days of identical open field assessment (5 min/day) were conducted at the end of the testing task phase to assess end-of-study activity patterns in Weeks 11 and 13.

Bottom Line: Individuals vary greatly in their willingness to select and persist in effortful tasks, even when high-effort will knowingly result in high-reward.These increases in performance led to quicker reward obtainment and greater reward gain over time, and could not be accounted for simply by increased locomotor activity.Our results suggest that a basic exercise regimen can enhance effortful goal-directed behaviour in goal-directed tasks, which highlights a potential productivity benefit of staying physically active.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

ABSTRACT
Individuals vary greatly in their willingness to select and persist in effortful tasks, even when high-effort will knowingly result in high-reward. Individuals who select and successively complete effortful, goal-directed tasks can be described as industrious. Trying to increase one's industriousness is desirable from a productivity standpoint, yet intrinsically challenging given that effort expenditure is generally aversive. Here we show that in laboratory rats, a basic physical exercise regimen (20 min/day, five days/week) is sufficient to increase industriousness across a battery of subsequent testing tasks. Exercised rats outperformed their non-exercised counterparts in tasks designed to tax effort expenditure, strategic decision-making, problem solving and persistence. These increases in performance led to quicker reward obtainment and greater reward gain over time, and could not be accounted for simply by increased locomotor activity. Our results suggest that a basic exercise regimen can enhance effortful goal-directed behaviour in goal-directed tasks, which highlights a potential productivity benefit of staying physically active.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus