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Lindsey Purpura, Thomas Bullock, Barry Giesbrecht; Modulation of working memory filtering efficiency during acute bouts of exercise.. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):343. doi: 10.1167/17.10.343.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Locomotor activity impacts behavioral performance and brain activity in various species including invertebrates, rodents, and humans (Chiappe et al., 2010; Niell & Stryker, 2010; Bullock et al., 2015; Bullock et al., 2016). Here we investigated the effect of exercise on working memory (WM) filtering efficiency. Filtering efficiency was measured using the amplitude of the scalp-recorded contralateral delay activity (CDA). CDA amplitude tracks with the number of encoded items and can be used as a way to assess the amount of encoded information compared to the number of relevant and irrelevant items presented (Vogel et al., 2005). While previous research suggests sensory gain during exercise (Bullock et al., 2015), other work suggests impaired cognitive control during physical exertion (Eddy et al., 2015). If filtering efficiency is related to attentional control, then the finding that cognitive control is impaired during physical exercise predicts decreased filtering efficiency during exercise. To test this prediction, participants (n=5) encoded a brief (100 ms) memory array and after a retention period (900ms) reported if any relevant items had changed orientation. One-third of trials included four relevant items, one-third presented two relevant items, and one-third presented two relevant and two irrelevant items. Participants completed this task during rest (mean heart rate (HR)=67.3 bpm) and low intensity (duration = 45 min; mean HR=103.7 bpm) cycling. Filtering efficiency was calculated for each subject and each exercise condition. Filtering efficiency was higher during rest compared to low intensity exercise, t(4)=2.31, p< .05 (one-tailed). All participants showed this effect. Although it is unclear whether this effect is caused by a drop in CDA amplitude for four relevant items or an increase in amplitude on trials with irrelevant items during low intensity exercise compared to rest, the results suggest that WM filtering efficiency is modulated by brief bouts of physical exercise.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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