Habitual exercise is associated with cognitive control and cognitive reappraisal success
- 1.1k Downloads
Habitual exercise is associated with enhanced domain-general cognitive control, such as inhibitory control, selective attention, and working memory, all of which rely on the frontal cortex. However, whether regular exercise is associated with more specific aspects of cognitive control, such as the cognitive control of emotion, remains relatively unexplored. The present study employed a correlational design to determine whether level of habitual exercise was related to performance on the Stroop test measuring selective attention and response inhibition, the cognitive reappraisal task measuring cognitive reappraisal success, and associated changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxygenation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. 74 individuals (24 men, 50 women, age 18–32 years) participated. Higher habitual physical activity was associated with lower Stroop interference (indicating greater inhibitory control) and enhanced cognitive reappraisal success. Higher habitual exercise was also associated with lower oxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb) in the PFC in response to emotional information. However, NIRS data indicated that exercise was not associated with cognitive control-associated O2Hb in the PFC. Behaviorally, the findings support and extend the previous findings that habitual exercise relates to more successful cognitive control of neutral information and cognitive reappraisal of emotional information. Future research should explore whether habitual exercise exerts causal benefits to cognitive control and PFC oxygenation, as well as isolate specific cognitive control processes sensitive to change through habitual exercise.
KeywordsExercise Executive function Emotion regulation Cognitive reappraisal fNIRS
We would like to thank Brian Westgate for programming the cognitive reappraisal task. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect those of the United States Army. Research reported was supported through a contract with the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC, Natick, Massachusetts, USA) under award number W911QY-13-C-0012.
- Dupuy O, Gauthier CJ, Fraser SA, Desjardins-Crepeau L, Desjardins M, Mekary S, Lesage F, Hoge RD, Pouliot P, Bherer L (2015) Higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with better executive function and prefrontal oxygenation in younger and older women. Front Hum Neurosci 9:66. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00066 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Evstafiev M (1992) A family mourns during a funeral at the Lion's cemetery in Sarajevo, 1992 [Photo]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Evstafiev-bosnia-sarajevo-funeral-reaction.jpg
- Golubic R, May AM, Benjaminsen Borch K, Overvad K, Charles MA, Diaz MJ, Amiano P, Palli D, Valanou E, Vigl M, Franks PW, Wareham N, Ekelund U, Brage S (2014) Validity of electronically administered Recent Physical Activity Questionnaire (RPAQ) in ten European countries. PLoS One 9:e92829. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092829 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, Macera CA, Heath GW, Thompson PD, Bauman A (2007) Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc 39:1423–1434. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180616b27 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lang PJ, Bradley MM, Cuthbert BN (2005) International affective picture system (IAPS): affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. Technical report A-6. University of Florida, Gainesville, FLGoogle Scholar
- Leon-Carrion J, Damas J, Izzetoglu K, Pourrezai K, Martin-Rodriguez JF, Barroso Y, Martin JM, Dominguez-Morales MR (2006) Differential time course and intensity of PFC activation for men and women in response to emotional stimuli: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study. Neurosci Lett 403:90–95CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pavlov SV, Reva NV, Loktev KV, Tumyalis AV, Korenyok VV, Aftanas LI (2014) The temporal dynamics of cognitive reappraisal: cardiovascular consequences of downregulation of negative emotion and upregulation of positive emotion. Psychophysiology 51:178–186. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12159 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Randolph JJ (2005) Free-marginal multirater kappa: an alternative to Fleiss' fixed-marginal multirater kappa. Paper presented at the Joensuu University Learning and Instruction Symposium 2005, Joensuu, Finland, October 14–15th, 2005. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED490661)Google Scholar
- Randolph JJ (2008) Online Kappa Calculator (computer software) Google Scholar