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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

Locomotor Activity in Open Field Assessment.A) In each week of assessment, no differences in distance travelled were observed between the groups, both in weekly pairwise comparisons (t-test, α 0.05) and overall assessment (ANOVA, α 0.05). B) Within group comparisons of the data in (A) revealed that each group increased its distance travelled over the course of the 13 week study. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.
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pone.0129831.g007: Locomotor Activity in Open Field Assessment.A) In each week of assessment, no differences in distance travelled were observed between the groups, both in weekly pairwise comparisons (t-test, α 0.05) and overall assessment (ANOVA, α 0.05). B) Within group comparisons of the data in (A) revealed that each group increased its distance travelled over the course of the 13 week study. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.

Mentions: Open field assessments of locomotor activity were conducted in Weeks 1, 11 and 13 of the study. Data from Week 1 were used to counterbalance group assignments in terms of baseline motor activity, prior to the exercise regimen starting in Week 2 (see Fig 2C). Data from Weeks 11 and 13 were used to assess any end-of-study changes between groups in locomotor activity, exploratory behaviour or food motivation; no significant differences were found (Table 1). Across the three open field assessment periods (Weeks 1, 11 and 13), both groups increased their exploration distances, however there was no overall difference between groups (Fig 7A; Group F(1,42) = 0.26, p = 0.62; Time F(2,42) = 9.1, p<0.001). Within the groups, each group was significantly more active in open field exploration in Week 13 as compared to Week 1 (Exercise F(2,46) = 4.5, p = 0.02; Control F(2,46) = 4.0, p = 0.04; post-hoc Tukey’s).


Regular Exercise Enhances Task-Based Industriousness in Laboratory Rats.

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

Locomotor Activity in Open Field Assessment.A) In each week of assessment, no differences in distance travelled were observed between the groups, both in weekly pairwise comparisons (t-test, α 0.05) and overall assessment (ANOVA, α 0.05). B) Within group comparisons of the data in (A) revealed that each group increased its distance travelled over the course of the 13 week study. 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.g007: Locomotor Activity in Open Field Assessment.A) In each week of assessment, no differences in distance travelled were observed between the groups, both in weekly pairwise comparisons (t-test, α 0.05) and overall assessment (ANOVA, α 0.05). B) Within group comparisons of the data in (A) revealed that each group increased its distance travelled over the course of the 13 week study. Data are shown as mean ± SEM; for each group n = 8.
Mentions: Open field assessments of locomotor activity were conducted in Weeks 1, 11 and 13 of the study. Data from Week 1 were used to counterbalance group assignments in terms of baseline motor activity, prior to the exercise regimen starting in Week 2 (see Fig 2C). Data from Weeks 11 and 13 were used to assess any end-of-study changes between groups in locomotor activity, exploratory behaviour or food motivation; no significant differences were found (Table 1). Across the three open field assessment periods (Weeks 1, 11 and 13), both groups increased their exploration distances, however there was no overall difference between groups (Fig 7A; Group F(1,42) = 0.26, p = 0.62; Time F(2,42) = 9.1, p<0.001). Within the groups, each group was significantly more active in open field exploration in Week 13 as compared to Week 1 (Exercise F(2,46) = 4.5, p = 0.02; Control F(2,46) = 4.0, p = 0.04; post-hoc Tukey’s).

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