The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Thinking

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Cassidy Carstens Meghan Seward Susan Kotowski


By Cassidy Carstens, Health Sciences; Meghan Seward, Health Sciences

Advisor: Susan Kotowski

Presentation ID: Room 423_3

Abstract: Exercise has been found to show tremendous improvements to cognition in terms of response time, accuracy, and problem-solving skills. Many populations such as the elderly, victims of traumatic brain injury, and developing youth, can benefit from exercise treatment to increase brain function. More research is needed to fine tune the best treatment for each specific population. Our purpose was to determine if different forms of exercise cause an improvement or decline in cognitive function, with a focus on short term memory recall. We examined whether an increased heart rate due to exercise correlates with participants' cognitive abilities positively or negatively. Individuals of at least 18 years of age from the Cincinnati area of all genders and ethnic groups were encouraged to participate. Participants were excluded if they are pregnant, taking beta-blockers, or experiencing musculoskeletal pain. The interested subjects took part in four different activities that were 5 minutes in length. Two minutes into each exercise the tester showed 15 cards, each card receiving 3 seconds to be memorized by the participant and repeated back at the end of the exercise. The activities were composed of a stretching routine, planking exercise, jogging on the treadmill, and a baseline test. Each subject was given a heart monitor to record heart rate over the course of each activity. We anticipate that a moderate submaximal heart rate, achieved during the stretching routine will correlate with improved recall scores.


Article Details

Podium Presentation -- Room 423 -- Health & Body