Hillman, C. H. et al. Physical activity and cognitive function in a cross-section of younger and older community-dwelling individuals. Health Psychol. 25, 678-687

Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 12/2006; 25(6):678-87. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.6.678
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous reports have indicated a small, positive relationship between physical activity and cognition. However, the majority of research has focused on older adults, with few studies examining this relationship during earlier periods of the life span. This study examined the relationship of physical activity to cognition in a cross-section of 241 community-dwelling individuals 15-71 years of age with a task requiring variable amounts of executive control. Data were analyzed with multiple regression, which controlled for age, sex, and IQ. Participants reported their physical activity behavior and were tested for reaction time (RT) and response accuracy on congruent and incongruent conditions of a flanker task, which manipulates interference control. After controlling for confounding variables, an age-related slowing of RT was observed during both congruent and incongruent flanker conditions. However, physical activity was associated with faster RT during these conditions, regardless of age. Response accuracy findings indicated that increased physical activity was associated with better performance only during the incongruent condition for the older cohort. Findings suggest that physical activity may be beneficial to both general and selective aspects of cognition, particularly among older adults.

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Available from: Charles Hillman, Jul 28, 2015
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    • "Prior to hypothesis testing, independent samples t-tests were calculated between the dependent variables, SE, and sex and bivariate Pearson Product Moment correlations were calculated between the dependent variables, SE, personality, and other individual difference factors (i.e., age, IQ). Correlations including personality, age, and IQ and t-tests including sex were examined due to findings in previous research showing relations between these individual difference variables and SE (Rebok & Balcerak, 1989; Themanson et al., 2008; Thoms, Moore, & Scott, 1996; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1990), P3b (van Beijsterveldt et al., 1998; Ditraglia & Polich, 1991; Houlihan et al., 1998; Polich, 1996; Polich & Martin, 1992; Stelmack & Houlihan, 1994), or flanker task performance (Hillman et al., 2006; Williams et al., 2009). Separate hierarchical stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted for each dependent measure (P3b amplitude, P3b latency, response accuracy, RT). "
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    ABSTRACT: Self-efficacy (SE) is a modifiable psychosocial factor related to individuals’ beliefs in their capabilities to successfully complete courses of action and has been shown to be positively associated with task performance. The authors hypothesized that one means through which SE is related with improved performance is through enhanced task-relevant attentional control during task execution. To assess this hypothesis, we examined the relationships between SE and behavioural and neural indices of task performance and task-relevant attentional control for 76 young adults during the completion of a flanker task. Results showed that greater SE was associated with greater response accuracy and P3b amplitude across task conditions, and faster RT under more difficult task conditions. Additionally, P3b amplitude was found to mediate the relationship between SE and task performance in the difficult condition. These findings suggest that greater attentional allocation to task-relevant processes, including monitoring stimulus-response relationships and focusing attention on working memory operations, may help explain the association between SE and improved task performance.
    09/2014; 106(2). DOI:10.1111/bjop.12091
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    • "Numerous clinical studies suggest a relationship between physical activity and risk of dementia in late life. Cross-sectional studies suggest that physical activity is positively associated with cognition, particularly executive and visuospatial function [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]. Multiple longitudinal studies report a relationship between self-reported exercise and cognitive decline [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36], and overall physical activity in midlife or later life is associated with a reduced risk of developing AD in late-life [37] [38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease, the etiology of AD is not well understood. In some cases, genetic factors explain AD risk, but a high percentage of late-onset AD is unexplained. The fact that AD is associated with a number of physical and systemic manifestations suggests that AD is a multifactorial disease that affects both the CNS and periphery. Interestingly, a common feature of many systemic processes linked to AD is involvement in energy metabolism. The goals of this review are to 1) explore the evidence that peripheral processes contribute to AD risk, 2) explore ways that AD modulates whole-body changes, and 3) discuss the role of genetics, mitochondria, and vascular mechanisms as underlying factors that could mediate both central and peripheral manifestations of AD. Despite efforts to strictly define AD as a homogeneous CNS disease, there may be no single etiologic pathway leading to the syndrome of AD dementia. Rather, the neurodegenerative process may involve some degree of baseline genetic risk that is modified by external risk factors. Continued research into the diverse but related processes linked to AD risk is necessary for successful development of disease -modifying therapies.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2014; 1842(9). DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.04.012 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    • "A critical step in understanding the interplay between age, cognition, and lifestyle is to evaluate these effects simultaneously in young and older adults. Few studies have used such an approach , although at least one study failed to find exercise-related improvements in executive control for younger adults (Hillman et al., 2006). Episodic memory represents a logical cognitive target for this purpose given evidence that physical and cognitive activities promote hippocampal neurogenesis in nonhuman animals (van Praag, Kempermann, & Gage, 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Physical and sociocognitive lifestyle activities promote aspects of cognitive function in older adults. Very little is known about the relation between these lifestyle activities and cognitive function in young adults. One aspect of cognitive function that is critical for everyday function is episodic memory. The present study examined the relationship between lifestyle activities and episodic memory in younger and older adults. Method: Participants were 62 younger (mean age = 24 years) and older adults (mean age = 74 years). The augmented Victoria Longitudinal Study Activities Questionnaire was used to quantify level of engagement in physical activity, sociocognitive activity, and TV viewing. Episodic memory was assessed using the old-new face recognition paradigm in which memory for younger and older faces was tested. Results: Compared to younger adults, older adults reported being less physically and sociocognitively active while engaging in more passive behaviors such as TV viewing. A positive association was observed between physical activity and episodic memory for young adults but not for older adults. Interestingly, TV viewing was negatively associated with episodic memory in older adults but not younger adults. No relationship was found between sociocognitive activity and episodic memory for either younger or older adults. Although the own-age effect was observed for older adults, face age did not interact with lifestyle activities. Conclusion: The positive cognitive benefits of physical activity extend to younger adults; however, the interplay between physical activity and cognition may differ across the life span. Furthermore, TV viewing may be particularly detrimental to cognitive performance later in life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Health Psychology 01/2014; DOI:10.1037/hea0000046 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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