Effect of an Acute Bout of Low-, Moderate-, and High-Intensity Aerobic Exercise on Immediate and Delayed Fractionated Response Time

authors:

avatar Danielle R. Martineau ORCID 1 , avatar Ronald V. Croce ORCID 2 , * , avatar Wayne Smith ORCID 3

Biomedical Science Program, University of New Hampshire
Kinesiology Department, Biomechanics & Motor Control Lab, University of New Hampshire
Electrical Engineering Department, University of New Hampshire

how to cite: Martineau D R, Croce R V, Smith W. Effect of an Acute Bout of Low-, Moderate-, and High-Intensity Aerobic Exercise on Immediate and Delayed Fractionated Response Time. J Motor Control Learn. 2023;5(3):e143463. 

Abstract

Background: Information processing and cognition can be enhanced in various ways. The present study investigated the role of three intensities of aerobic exercise (low intensity [LIE], moderate intensity [MIE], high intensity [HIE]) on information processing speed using a response time paradigm. 
Methods: Twenty-seven adult male and female volunteers (16, male; 11, female) ages 18 to 26 years (Mean age = 21.9 years) were randomly assigned to LIE, MIE, and HIE exercise groups. Exercise was performed on a bike ergometer. Participants took part in single choice (SC), multichoice (MC), and dual task (DT) performance tasks before exercise and 1 min and 20 min postexercise. Information processing speed was analyzed by calculating total response time (RPT), reaction time (RT), and movement time (MT) on a response time apparatus. 
Results: For each performance task, the impact of three intensities of exercise on RPT, RT and MT were analyzed using separate 3 (Group [exercise intensity]) x 3 (Test Block [preexercise, 1 min postexercise, 20 min postexercise]) repeated measures ANOVA. Data analyses indicated: (1) participants in each exercise condition improved RT and RPT on MC (p < 0.001; p < 0.01, respectively) and DT (p < 0.05, p < 0.05, respectively) tasks but not on the SC task and these improvements were observed both immediately (1 min) and short-term (20 min) postexercise. 
Conclusions: As RT represents more CNS mechanisms than movement per se, the faciliatory effect of exercise on the speed of task completion involved more speed of cortical processing than speed of movement when completing the task. All exercise intensity levels investigated had a positive impact on the time required to complete MC and DT tasks.

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