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Study Provides Insights on the Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Performance

A new British Journal of Psychology study has looked at the details behind how cognitive performance may improve during aerobic exercise.

Friday, October 12, 2018 10:17 am EDT

A new British Journal of Psychology study has looked at the details behind how cognitive performance may improve during aerobic exercise. 

Electroencephalography readings were taken as 24 participants performed a visual working memory task while at rest and during exercise involving different postures: seated on or pedalling a stationary bicycle, as well as standing or walking on a treadmill. (Visual working memory is the ability to maintain visual information to serve the needs of ongoing tasks.)

The investigators found that both aerobic exercise and upright posture improved visual working memory compared with passive and seated conditions. Their analyses also suggest where the neural origins of these observed effects take place.

“Our findings hold implications not only for the field of cognitive psychology, wherein our knowledge has been primarily derived from seated, resting participants, but also for our understanding of cognitive performance at large. Although modern society has evolved to become more and more sedentary, our brains may nevertheless perform best while our bodies are active,” said lead author Dr. Thomas Töllner, of Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

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About Journal:

The British Journal of Psychology publishes original research on all aspects of general psychology including cognition; health and clinical psychology; developmental, social and occupational psychology. For information on specific requirements, please view Author Guidelines.

We attract a large number of international submissions each year which make major contributions across the range of psychology, particularly where the work has the following characteristics:

• articles or groups of articles dealing with topics which are of interest to researchers from more than one specialism;
• section of psychology or which address topics or issues at the interface between different specialisms or sections of psychology;
• articles or groups of articles which take different or contrasting methodological or theoretical approaches to a single topic;
• articles or groups of articles dealing with novel areas, theories or methodologies;
• integrative reviews, particularly where the review offers new analysis (e.g. meta-analysis), new theory or new implications for practice;
• articles or groups of articles dealing with the history of psychology;
• interdisciplinary work, where the contribution from, or to, psychological theory or practice is clear.

It enjoys a wide international readership and features reports of empirical studies, critical reviews of the literature and theoretical contributions which aim to further our understanding of psychology.

The journal additionally publishes a small number of invited articles by people who lead their field on a topic that provokes discussion. These articles include a short peer commentary.

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