The Effect of Physical Activity vs. Cognitive Activity in Reaction Time

Date
2015-04-14
Authors
Forsyth, Emily
Garcia, Andrea
Riusech, Olga
Smidzik, Quintin
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Kinesiology
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Kinesiology
Abstract

Exercise is associated with an increase in cardiovascular functional ability. Results from previous studies indicate both visual and auditory reaction times were significantly faster after aerobic exercise compared to no exercise. We are replicating these results using a visual reaction time task. In addition we are comparing the effect of physical exercise to the effect of a mentally stimulating activity. We hypothesize that post-exercise reaction time will yield the fastest reaction time. To test this we will test 12 individuals, 6 males and 6 female on a 4-Choice Reaction Test after a 3-minute cardio regime and a Stroop task that requires mental effort. The cardio exercise consists of performing jumping jacks, high- knees, and sprint-kicks for a minute each. The Stroop task requires participants to identify the ink color of color-words (for example, green) that are consistent with the ink color or different from the ink color. They read these words for 90 seconds. Before and between conditions we collect resting heartrate.

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