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The Effects of Acute Exercise on Cognitive Function: Solomon Experimental Design

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No study has yet evaluated the effects of an acute 5-min bout of exercise (walking) on cognitive function, which was the purpose of our study. We employed a Solomon-4 experimental design, in which 22 young adult participants were included in each group. Participants in two groups (1 and 3) walked on a treadmill for 5 min at a self-selected intensity. We assessed cognitive function by means of the Trail Making B test. We observed no difference in cognitive function between the two assessments for the control group (group 2: 42.8 vs. 40.6 s), but found a significant effect for adults in group 1 (56.3 vs. 35.7 s), whose cognitive function was markedly improved after the 5-min bout of walking. This within-group by between-group interaction (change due to the treatment) was statistically significant (− 20.4 vs. − 2.2 s). A 5-min bout of walking at a self-selected intensity is associated with improved cognitive function. Given our observed interaction effect of the pretest and treatment (walking) on cognitive function, we encourage researchers to investigate the potential additive or synergistic effects of mental training and acute exercise on cognition.

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This study was approved by the author’s Institutional Review Board and all participants provided consent prior to participation.

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Correspondence to Paul D. Loprinzi.

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Jaffery, A., Edwards, M.K. & Loprinzi, P.D. The Effects of Acute Exercise on Cognitive Function: Solomon Experimental Design. J Primary Prevent 39, 37–46 (2018).

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