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Teachers complain about growing concentration deficits and reduced attention in adolescents. Exercise has been shown to positively affect cognitive performance. Due to the neuronal connection between the cerebellum and the frontal cortex, we hypothesized that cognitive performance might be influenced by bilateral coordinative exercise (CE) and that its effect on cognition might be already visible after short bouts of exercise. One hundred and fifteen healthy adolescents aged 13-16 years of an elite performance school were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group and tested using the d2-test, a test of attention and concentration. Both groups performed the d2-test after a regular school lesson (pre-test), after 10 min of coordinative exercise and of a normal sport lesson (NSL, control group), respectively (post-test). Exercise was controlled for heart rate (HR). CE and NSL enhanced the d2-test performance from pre- to post-test significantly. ANOVA revealed a significant group (CE, NSL) by performance interaction in the d2-test indicating a higher improvement of CE as compared to NSL. HR was not significantly different between the groups. CE was more effective in completing the concentration and attention task. With the HR being the same in both groups we assume that the coordinative character of the exercise might be responsible for the significant differences. CE might lead to a pre-activation of parts of the brain which are also responsible for mediating functions like attention. Thus, our results support the request for more acute CE in schools, even in elite performance schools.
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Neuroscience Letters 441 (2008) 219–223
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Neuroscience Letters
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Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents
Henning Buddea,, Claudia Voelcker-Rehageb, Sascha Pietraßyk-Kendziorraa,
Pedro Ribeiroc,G¨
unter Tidowa
aDepartment of Movement and Training Science, Institute of Sport Science, Humboldt University Berlin, Konrad-Wolf-Str. 45, 13055 Berlin, Germany
bJacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
cBioscience Department, School of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (EEFD/UFRJ), Brazil
article info
Article history:
Received 3 April 2008
Received in revised form 21 May 2008
Accepted 10 June 2008
Bimanual coordination
Teachers complain about growing concentration deficits and reduced attention in adolescents. Exercise
has been shown to positively affect cognitive performance. Due to the neuronal connection between the
cerebellum and the frontal cortex, we hypothesized that cognitive performance might be influenced by
bilateral coordinative exercise (CE) and that its effect on cognition might be already visible after short
bouts of exercise. One hundred and fifteen healthy adolescents aged 13–16 years of an elite performance
school were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group and tested using the d2-test, a test
of attention and concentration. Both groups performed the d2-test after a regular school lesson (pre-test),
after 10min of coordinative exercise and of a normal sport lesson (NSL, control group), respectively (post-
test). Exercise was controlled for heart rate (HR). CE and NSL enhanced the d2-test performance from pre-
to post-test significantly. ANOVA revealed a significant group (CE, NSL) by performance interaction in the
d2-test indicating a higher improvement of CE as compared to NSL. HR was not significantly different
between the groups. CE was more effective in completing the concentration and attention task. With the
HR being the same in both groups we assume that the coordinative character of the exercise might be
responsible for the significant differences. CE might lead to a pre-activation of parts of the brain which
are also responsible for mediating functions like attention. Thus, our results support the request for more
acute CE in schools, even in elite performance schools.
© 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Many teachers in the western countries complain about growing
concentration deficits, increased unrest and reduced attention in
children. Due to this development, new education models areasked
for in which the ability to concentrate and therewith the cogni-
tive competence will be promoted. In this context, the relation of
physical activity and fitness to academic performance is of spe-
cial interest because physical education programs in schools are
required to contributeto the primary mission of schools, i.e. the pro-
motion of academic performance [8]. Compelling support for the
view that acute aerobic exercise can facilitate cognitive functioning
is provided by empirical data on adults reviewed by Tomporowski
[24]. He stated that submaximal aerobic exercise performed for
periods up to 60 min facilitates specific aspects of information pro-
cessing. Accordingly,findings by Hillman and co-workers [12] imply
that acute bouts of cardiovascular exercise may enhance the allo-
cation of attentional and memory resources, and hence, benefit
executive control function in undergraduates. Unfortunately, very
Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 30 2093 4652; fax: +49 30 2093 4646.
E-mail address: (H. Budde).
little is known about the impact of acute physical activity on chil-
dren and youth or young student’s class attention and academic
performance [24] and the underlying mechanisms.
Current studies have focused on the relation between physical
activity and the academic performance of school-age children. A
meta-analysis with children [22] has demonstrated that physical
activity participation is associated with better cognitive perfor-
mance. The results of this review, however, indicate that the
relationship between physical activity and cognition in children
differs with regard to the age 11–13-year-old students showed
the largest effect and type of cognitive assessment with percep-
tual skill tests showing the largest effect. They found no differences,
however, among types of physical activity and between chronic and
acute interventions. Hillman and co-workers [11] showed that the
aerobic fitness level has a positive relation to academic achieve-
ment. Accordingly,Coe and co-workers [4] reported that pupils who
engaged in vigorous physical activity outside school 3 or more days
per week for 20 or more minutes per occasion performed better in
school than those that did physical exercise at a moderate level. A
study with adolescents tested the relationship between motorcoor-
dinative abilities and cognition and showed positive and significant
0304-3940/$ see front matter © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author's personal copy
220 H. Budde et al. / Neuroscience Letters 441 (2008) 219–223
associations between the latent motor and the cognitive variables.
With both sexes, the motor dimensions with the strongest asso-
ciations with the cognitive abilities are those of coordination and
the speed of movement [17]. A first intervention study with grade
5 students showed that a 6-week bimanual coordination program
improved the reading comprehension skills compared to controls
Despite this relationship between coordinativeabilities and cog-
nition, until now, to the best of our knowledge, no study has
assessed the influence of an acute bout of coordinative exercise (CE)
on cognition. This might be, however, of high importance within
the development of new education models to prevent concentra-
tion lapse. Coordinative exercise is known to involve an activation
of the cerebellum which besides motor functions [9] influences a
variety of neurobehavioral systems including attention [5],work-
ing memory [13], and verbal learning and memory [1]. In addition,
experimental and clinical evidence points to the importance of the
frontal lobes, especially the prefrontal areas, in the mediation of
cognitive functions like executive control [15] on the one hand
and motor coordination [10] on the other. Due to the neuronal
structures responsible for coordination as well as cognition, we
hypothesized that coordinative exercise would lead to a general
pre-activation of cognitive-related neuronal networks and would
be more effective in improving the speed and accuracy of a con-
centration and attention task in a sample of adolescents compared
to control. Demonstrating that short bouts of coordinative exer-
cise have salutary effects on information processing and cognition
should have direct application to those involved in promoting edu-
cational performance.
One hundred and fifteen healthy adolescents aged 13–16 years
of an elite performance school participated in this study and were
randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. Par-
ticipants signed an informed consent approved by the local board
of the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Written informed
consent was obtained before inclusion from all participants. Other
inclusion criteria for study participation were no dyslexia (teach-
ers statement) and a BMI not higher than 25. No participant had
to be excluded due to these criteria. Sixteen participants were
excluded from data analysis due to a performance incongruent
to the instruction, i.e. a F% (number of all errors related to the
total number of responses) higher than 20. The remaining sam-
ple (80 male and 19 female) had a mean age of 14.98 years
(S.D. = 0.78, n= 52) in the control (44 male, 8 female) and of 15.04
years (S.D. = 0.87, n= 47) in the experimental group (36 male, 11
female). According to Brickenkamp [3], gender has no effect on
the results in the d2, so we randomly recruited and assigned the
students in the participating classes to the groups regardless of
Neuropsychological performance of the students was assessed
in the areas of attention and concentration using the d2-test [3].
The d2-test is a paper and pencil letter-cancellation test that con-
sists of 14 lines of 47 randomly mixed letters each (either d or p).
Subjects are instructed to mark, within 20 s for each line, only the
letter “d” within a string of letters (“d” and “p”), only when 2 dashes
are arranged either individually or in pairs above and below “d”.
After 20 s there is an acoustic signal, which shows the subjects to
continue with the next line. The test lasts 4.67min.
The d2-test determines the capacity to focus on one stimu-
lus/fact, while suppressing awareness to competing distractors [3].
Processes of selective attention are also required for successful
completion, since not only the letter “d” is orthographically sim-
ilar to the letter “p”, but there are many distractor letters “d” with
more than 2 dashes [3]. According to Miller and Cohen [15], the
selective attention mechanism measured with the d2-test is in fact
just a special case of cognitive control one in which the biasing
occurs in the sensory domain or a measure of response inhibition
and executive functions [14].
The performance on this test does not correlate with IQ, but
reflects visual perceptual speed and concentrative capacities. The
internal test–retest reliability of the d2-test of attention has been
proven to be extraordinarily high (0.95–0.98) for all parameters
[3]. Its criterion, construct, and predictive validity have been doc-
umented, and test values have been shown to be stable over an
extended period of up to 23 months after initial testing [3].
The heart rate was measured during exercise sessions in both
groups using a heart rate monitor (HRM RS400, Polar, Kempele,
Finland). The heart rate data (every 5s) were downloaded to a
Coordinative exercises were selected from special coordinative
training forms for soccer [19]and exercises from the Munich Fitness
Test [18]. Within these exercises different bilateral coordinative
abilities were stressed within short periods of time, for example,
the ability to balance, to react, to adjust and to differentiate [19].
Exercises were organized in stations with a maximum of four stu-
dents at each station per time. Altogether, the pupils completed five
different CE for 1.75 min each.
At station 1 the participants were asked to bounce a volleyball
alternating with the left or right hand while standing on a turned
sport bench. At the second station the task was to bounce a basket-
ball and a volleyball respectively with the left and the right hand at
the same time. Task 3 was to throw a handball alternating with the
left and right hand into a gymnastic hoop at a distance of 10m. In
the fourth exercise two pupils faced each other in a distance of 5 m,
one with a handball and the other with a football. They were asked
to pass the balls alternating with the right and left hand and/or with
the foot at the same time. In the fifth exercise pupils bounced a vol-
leyball with the hand and were asked to control a soccerball with
the foot at the same time altogether on one half of the volleyball
In the 10min of the normal sport lesson the physical education
teachers instructed the students to exercise at a moderate inten-
sity without any specific coordinative request. The teachers who
accomplished this intervention had a special qualification to advise
the students to exercise at the same intensity as the CE group but
without any specification on motor coordination.
In the week before the first testing the students were introduced
to the test procedure and instructed how to complete it. The mea-
surements of the d2-tests took place immediately after a normal
school lesson (pre-test, week 2) and after 10 min of coordinative
exercise or after 10 min of a normal sport lesson (post-test, week 3),
and were accomplished in a quiet room. The interval between the
test sessions was 1 week in each case. The adolescents participating
in the normal sport lesson served as controls. On the test days the
students refrained from any exercise prior to the investigation.
The total number of responses (GZ) within the d2-test, the stan-
dardized number of correct responses minus errors of confusion
(SKL), and the number of all errors related to the total number of
responses (F%) are calculated and used as a parameter for sustained
attention and concentration. The GZ value is a quantitative measure
of the working speed, and the F% value is a qualitative measure
of precision and thoroughness. Both values are subject to learning
effects. The SKL value is interpreted as independent from adulter-
ation and, thus, an objective measure of concentration. It reflects
individual attention span and concentration ability [3]. It is calcu-
lated by the total number of correctly marked items minus errors
of confusion. Raw values were expressed in percentiles (derived
from age-matched norm samples [3]), in order to achieve age-
independent test scores. Additionally, changes across test trials
were computed as difference scores between pre- and post-test
(improvement = (Mt1Mt2)/(Mt1)×100).
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H. Budde et al. / Neuroscience Letters 441 (2008) 219–223 221
Table 1
Results of the 2 (pre-test, post-test)×2 (CE, NSL) repeated measure ANOVA with the main effects time and group for the total number of responses (GZ), the standardized
value of the number of correct responses minus errors of confusion (SKL), and the number of errors related to the total number of responses (F%)
Measure Time Group Group ×time
Fd.f. p2Fd.f. p2Fd.f. p2
GZ 68.18 1 <.01 .41 .03 1 .87 15.46 1 <.01 .14
SKL 99.92 1 <.01 .51 .35 1 .56 20.93 1 <.01 .18
F% 52.62 1 <.01 .35 .81 1 .37 12.14 1 <.01 .11
A2×2 mixed factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to
test for differences between pre- and post-test (within) and dif-
ferences between the experimental (CE) and the control group
(NSL) (between). Analysis was conducted separately for the out-
come variables GZ, F%, and SKL. Greenhouse Geyser adjustment was
reported when the sphericity assumption was violated. Post hoc
contrasts (Bonferroni adjustment) were used to determine effects
within the two groups (CE, NSL). Since gender showed no signif-
icant effect on pre- to post-test changes (always p> .05), we did
not include gender in the analysis. Group specific differences in
learning efficiency were analyzed using t-tests for independent
samples. To analyze intertrial correlations for the experimen-
tal and control groups, Pearson’s bivariate correlations were
A 2 (pre-test, post-test)×2 (CE, NSL) ANOVA revealed a signifi-
cant effect of time (pre-test, post-test), no significant effect of group
and a significant group ×time interaction for the outcome vari-
ables GZ, SKL, and F% (cf. Table 1 for statistics). All participants
improved their d2 performance from pre- to post-test throughout
practice and decreased the number of errors across time (cf. Fig. 1
and Table 2). The interaction, however, indicated a different pre- to
post-test development for experimental and control group. Fig. 1
displays the pre- and post-test performance and indicates that the
CE group improved performances from pre- to post-test to a higher
degree as compared to the NSL group. Post hoc contrasts revealed
an improvement in d2 performance for both groups across test ses-
sions for SKL, GZ, and F% (always p< .01). Additionally, post hoc tests
revealed no significant group differences in pre-test (p>.05), but in
post-test for SKL and F%(p< .05).
Improvement across test sessions was analyzed using differ-
ence scores. The t-tests for independent samples revealed group
differences for performance improvement as significant for GZ
(t(97) = 3.67, p<.01,ω2= .11), SKL (t(97) = 4.44, p<.01, ω2= .16), and
for F%(t(96) = 3.85, p<.01, ω2= .12) (cf. Fig. 2 and Table 2). These
results indicated that CE led to a higher improvement of d2 perfor-
The heart rate revealed no significant difference between the
control (M= 121.96, S.D.= 27.06) and the experimental (M= 122.30,
S.D. =21.91) group (t(44) = 0.05, p= .96).
Table 2
Means (M) and Standard Deviations (S.D.) for d2 performance (GZ, SKL, F%) at pre-
and post-test and for the performance improvement (difference scores, I GZ, I SKL,
IF%) for the experimental (CE) and control group (NSL)
Measure CE NSL
Pre-GZ 413.64 70.49 430.42 77.73
Post-GZ 473.06 64.94 452.10 63.15
Pre-SKL 97.38 8.86 99.48 10.09
Post-SKL 107.32 7.66 103.27 8.65
Pre-F% 7.98 4.22 7.27 4.22
Post-F% 3.99 2.96 5.83 2.83
IGZ 15.67 12.70 6.39 12.45
ISKL 10.64 7.61 4.20 6.83
IF% 43.17 47.06 10.48 36.71
Note: Negative values for the difference scoresfor I GZ and I SKL, and positive values
for I F% indicate performance improvements.
The correlation between pre- and post-test performance was
higher for the control group (GZ: r(52) = .78, F%(52) = .71; SKL:
r(52) = .77) than for the experimental group (GZ: r(52) = .77,
F%(52) = .35; SKL: r(52) =.67), particularly regarding the number of
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 10 min
of physical exercise on concentration and attention performance
in a school setting. Adolescent students participated in 10 min of
coordinative exercise or a non-specific physical education lesson,
respectively, and afterwards performed the d2-test [3]. Results
revealed an enhanced attention and concentration performance in
both groups with a significantly higher progression in the CE group.
This was true for all measures of the d2; the SKL value as well as for
the quantity (GZ) and the quality of working which comes along
with a decline in value of incorrect marked items (F%). Since the
heart rate was the same in both groups, this supports that the coor-
dinative character of the exercise is responsible for the significant
difference between the two groups.
Fig. 1. (a) Results of the GZ for the experimental group (CE) and the control group (NSL). (b) Results of SKL for the experimental group (CE) and the control group (NSL). (c)
Results of F% for the experimental group (CE) and the control group (NSL).
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222 H. Budde et al. / Neuroscience Letters 441 (2008) 219–223
Fig. 2. (a) Performance improvements in GZ from pre- to post-test for the experimental group (CE) and the control group (NSL). (b) Performance improvements in SKL from
pre- to post-test for the experimental group (CE) and the control group (NSL). (c) Performance improvements in F% from pre- to post-test for the experimental group (CE)
and the control group (NSL).
On the basis of human brain imaging and animal studies show-
ing that neuronal structures like the cerebellum and the frontal
lobe are responsible for coordination as well as cognition [20] it
was hypothesized that coordinative exercise would be more effec-
tive than the control condition in improvingthe spee d and accuracy
of the following concentration and attention task. Picard and Strick
[16] specified that motor complexity co-varies with the pattern of
brain activation, and thus the degree of information processing. It
has been suggested that automatic motor behaviors, like they were
requested during the 10 min of exercise without an emphasis on
motor coordination (NSL), are controlled by the basal ganglia [7].
The higher the motor demand, the more prefrontal cortex activity
is required during the execution of motor tasks [20]. Thus, the type
of exercise stressed in the CE group is believed to require a higher
variety of frontal-dependent cognitive processes as compared to
completing basic moves at a moderate intensity [21].
In addition to an activation of neural parts of the brain like the
frontal lobes [10], CE is supposed to lead to an excitation of the
cerebellum [6] which is also responsible for mediating cognitive
functions [23]. Our results suggest that CE leads to a facilitation
of neuronal networks resulting in a general pre-activation of con-
sequent cortical activities responsible for cognitive functions like
attention. In contrast, the normal sport lesson might require the
participants to perform more automated movements and in turn
prefrontal structures might not be directly required to the same
extent than in the coordinative tasks. The result is a less effi-
cient neurophysiological profile which could be responsible for the
poorer outcome in the d2-test.
A likelihood of a specific effect of CE, regardless of pre-test
performance, could also be confirmed by analyzing the individual
differences from pre- to post-test.The correlation between pre- and
post-test performance was higher for the control than for the exper-
imental group, particularly regarding the number of errors. While
in the control group individual participants maintained their per-
formance levels relative to one another from pre- to post-test, the
individuals of the experimental group reduced the amount of errors
regardless of their initial performance. This might indicate that the
performance increase of the control group was caused by learning
effects while the performance of the experimental group (particu-
larly the reduced number of errors) was more strongly influenced
by the intervention program.
Our study was designed as a “proof of principle” experiment,
probing the effects of a single bout of bimanual coordinative exer-
cise on concentration and attention. Because of its pilot character,
the study lacks a group being inactive for the two time points. This
explains why the reported effects could only compare CE and NSL
and do not provide information about the effect of acute exercise
in general. The SKL value, which is considered as the most stable
value, increased in both groups when the test was applied a second
time. As stated by Brickenkamp [3], the internal test–retest relia-
bility of the d2-test of attention has been proven to be high. Due to
the improvement in SKL over the time in both groups, however, we
cannot separate a general effect of acute exercise from a learning
effect which might interfere with the impact of the compounds on
The missing assessment of further neuropsychological functions
beyond performance on the d2-test makes it difficult to issue a
generalized statement of changed cognitive functions. The d2-test
performance, however, as used in the current study is known to be a
measure of response inhibition and executive functions [14] and to
be related to school performance [3]. Additionally, it is well known
that concentration deficits are associated with poorer academic
performance [2]. Hillman and co-workers [12] argued in a study
with undergraduate students that the allocation of attentional
resources benefits executive control function. Thus, a faultless func-
tion of attention can be seen as a predictor for efficient cognitive
control and academic performance.
Taken together, our results support the request for more short
bouts of exercise in schools with a focus on coordinative skills, for
example, via instructed exercise in school breaks. The fact that our
results were achieved with students of an elite performance school,
where the students practice sport every day (25–30h per week)
supports our demand for more acute coordinative exercise.
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... In addi-tion to intensity level, complexity level and cognitive demands of a motor task can lead to differences in EF responses [37] [38]. Research using complex motor tasks and games has demonstrated improvements in inhibition, attention, memory, and memory recall even in low intensity activities such as yoga [21] [39] [40]. These results suggest that a PA intervention should provide moderate intensity levels in a complex motor task to reap the most improvement in EF. ...
... In the same way, cognitive benefits such as executive function are accrued from PA participation no matter how long it lasts or how intense or frequent it is. Rather, Budde et al. [38] found that even a single occurrence of high-quality PA can improve children's or teenagers' executive function scores in an executive function test. ...
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The current state of physical inactivity of people can be traced back to the people who have been denied their fundamental human right to physical education and participation in school sports (PES). Growing up without the fundamental human right to free movement and participation in sports activities enabled students to stay physically inactive. The purpose of this study was to explore what is currently known about the role of PES in all areas of human development and SDGs and to raise awareness about PES, which has been shown to be on the decline. To increase the study’s overall efficacy, an external desk research approach was employed to gather relevant information published online: reports, policies, charters, recommendations, and other relevant articles from various electronic databases and websites of international organizations responsible for PES, culture, and health. PES benefits are discussed in all domains of human development, including physical and mental health, cognitive, psychosocial, and moral benefits. Contrary to its importance to human growth as a whole, PES has been sidelined since the end of the twentieth century. An awareness of the subject of PES has thus been raised as a backbone of the entire community in the twenty-first century, so as to translate the promises and policies of PES into realities and practices.
... Thus, the current study is of great relevance, as it provides not only evidence on the validity of the d2 as an attentional measure, but also enables one to make inferences about the brain changes that underlie cognitive performance following interventions targeting cognitive development. Indeed, it has been hypothesized that changes in attentional functions, as measured by d2 and following meditation and coordinative exercise interventions, could be due to structural and functional brain changes [112] and the facilitation of neuronal networks that would lead to a pre-activation of the cortical activities underlying attention [113]. In addition, although neurofeedback may not affect the power spectrum of EEG signals, an improvement in d2 performance has been noticed after beta/theta training in children with ADHD [114]. ...
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The present research aims at examining the power spectrum and exploring functional brain connectivity/disconnectivity during concentration performance, as measured by the d2 test of attention and creativity as measured by the CREA test in typically developing children. To this end, we examined brain connectivity by using phase synchrony (i.e., phase locking index (PLI) over the EEG signals acquired by the Emotiv EPOC neuroheadset in 15 children aged 9- to 12-years. Besides, as a complement, a power spectrum analysis of the acquired signals was performed. Our results indicated that, during d2 Test performance there was an increase in global gamma phase synchronization and there was a global alpha and theta band desynchronization. Conversely, during CREA task, power spectrum analysis showed a significant increase in the delta, beta, theta, and gamma bands. Connectivity analysis revealed marked synchronization in theta, alpha, and gamma. These findings are consistent with other neuroscience research indicating that multiple brain mechanisms are indeed involved in creativity. In addition, these results have important implications for the assessment of attention functions and creativity in clinical and research settings, as well as for neurofeedback interventions in children with typical and atypical development.
... Reason for Exclusion Adsiz et al. (2012) [61] No AB Amicone et al. (2018) [62] No AB Bartholomew et al. (2018) [63] No attention: Time on task Ben-Zeev et al. (2020) [64] No AB: PE lesson Blasche et al. (2018) [65] No attention Budde et al. (2008) [28] No proper CG: PE lesson Chou et al. (2020) [66] No AB: PE lesson Chrismas et al. (2019) [67] No AB Contreras et al. (2020) [68] Not written in English. [71] No AB Gonzalez et al. (2020) [72] Not written in English Grieco et al. (2016) [73] No attention: Time on task Howie et al. (2015) [74] No attention Howie et al. (2014) [75] No attention: Time on task Kubesch et al. (2009) [76] No AB: PE lesson Mahar (2011) [77] Review Mavilidi et al. (2020) [78] No attention: [85] Not written in English Owen et al. (2018) [86] No AB Pesce et al. (2013) [87] No AB Ruiz-Ariza et al. (2021) [88] Not written in English Sánchez-López et al. (2015) [89] Protocol Sugahara et al. (2018) [90] No AB Tan et al. (2016) [4] No attention: Time on task Vazou, et al. (2020) [91] No attention: Observation [92] Protocol Watson et al. (2019) [93] No attention: Classroom behavior Webster et al. (2015) [94] No attention: ...
School physical activity breaks are currently being proposed as a way to improve students’ learning. However, there is no clear evidence of the effects of active school breaks on academic-related cognitive outcomes. The present systematic review with meta-analysis scrutinized and synthesized the literature related to the effects of active breaks on students’ attention. On January 12th, 2021, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science were searched for published interventions with counterbalanced cross-over or parallel-groups designs with a control group, including school-based active breaks, objective attentional outcomes, and healthy students of any age. Studies’ results were qualitatively synthesized, and meta-analyses were performed if at least three study groups provided pre-post data for the same measure. Results showed some positive acute and chronic effects of active breaks on attentional outcomes (i.e., accuracy, concentration, inhibition, and sustained attention), especially on selective attention. However, most of the results were not significant. The small number of included studies and their heterogeneous design are the primary limitations of the present study. Although the results do not clearly point out the positive effects of active breaks, they do not compromise students’ attention. The key roles of intensity and the leader of the active break are discussed.
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Purpose: This study examined the effects of coordinative exercise on children’s sustained attention and perceptual discrimination in a school-based physical education (SBPE) setting. Methods: Seventy-three children received an intervention of moderate-to-vigorous intensity coordinative exercise, and 75 children participated in a moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity as part of a regular physical education class. Two neuropsychological tests of executive function (EF) were used to assess attention and perceptual discrimination functions before and after each treatment. Results: The results found that coordinative exercise significantly improved the performances on sustained attention and perceptual discrimination, as evidenced by enhanced response accuracy and improved speed of responding. Specifically, higher progressions in task performance were seen following coordinative exercise relative to regular physical activity. Conclusion: These findings suggest that coordinative exercise could enable more robust improvements in sustained attention and perceptual discrimination among children. Overall, we conclude that structured coordinative exercise, implemented in SBPE settings, may be a promising alternative to promote children’s cognitive abilities.
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هدف از پژوهش حاضر، بررسی اثر فعالیت هوازی با و بدون بار شناختی بر شبکۀ هشدار توجه بود. جهت انجام اين پژوهش نیمه تجربی که شامل دو گروه تجربی و يک گروه کنترل بود، 98 دانشجوی کم تحرک )با میانگین سنی 22/63≠1/92 سال( به روش نمونه گیری هدفمند انتخاب شده و به صورت مساوی در سه گروه 10نفره جای گرفتند. دو گروه تجربی به مدت 16 جلسه تحت مداخلۀ تمرينی مخصوص گروه خود قرار داشت؛ اما گروه کنترل مداخله ای را دريافت نکرد. شايان ذکر است که آزمودنی ها قبل و بعد از مداخله به وسیلۀ آزمون شبکه های توجه ارزيابی شدند و داده ها با استفاده از تحلیل کوواريانس تحلیل گرديد. نتايج نشان میدهد که تفاوت معناداری بین نمرات گروههای تجربی و کنترل در شبکۀ هشدار وجود ندارد. با توجه به نتايج به نظر میرسد که اثرگذاری ورزش بر شناخت، به ماهیت عملکردهای شناختی و بسترهای مغزی مرتبط با آنها بستگی داشته باشد
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Celem pracy było udzielenie odpowiedzi na pytanie, czy poczucie własnej skuteczności ma związek ze strategiami radzenia sobie ze stresem wśród zawodników uprawiających amatorsko brazylijskie jiu-jitsu. Aby zweryfikować hipotezy badawcze posłużono się polską adaptacją uogólnionej własnej skuteczności (GSES) oraz inwentarzem do pomiaru radzenia sobie ze stresem (Mini-COPE). W badaniu wzięło udział 100 osób w przedziale wiekowym między 18. a 49. rokiem życia o różnym poziomie zaawansowania brazylijskiego jiu-jitsu – początkujący (biały pas), średniozaawansowany (niebieski, purpurowy pas) oraz zaawansowany (brązowy, czarny pas). Analiza korelacji strategii radzenia sobie ze stresem z poczuciem własnej skuteczności wykazała dodatnie istotne związki dla strategii: aktywne radzenie sobie, planowanie, pozytywne przewartościowanie, akceptacja oraz poczucie humoru. Kolejne dane wskazują na ujemne związki strategii radzenia sobie ze stresem z poczuciem własnej skuteczności dla strategii: poszukiwanie wsparcia emocjonalnego, poszukiwanie wsparcia instrumentalnego, zaprzestanie działań oraz obwinianie sobie. Analiza wyników wykazał, że branie udziału w zawodach różnicuje poczucie własnej skuteczności zawodników brazylijskiego jiu-jitsu. Uzyskane wyniki stanowią podstawę do dalszych badań w tym kierunku. [EN] The study aimed to answer the question of whether self-efficacy is related to the strategies of coping with stress among amateur Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors. To verify the research hypotheses the Polish adaptation of generalized self-efficacy (GSES) and the inventory for measuring coping with stress (Mini-COPE) were used. The study involved 100 people between the ages of 18 and 49 on different levels of advancement - beginner (white belt), intermediate (blue, purple belt), and advanced (brown, black belt). An analysis of the correlation between the coping strategy with stress and the sense of self-efficacy showed positive significant relationships for the strategy: active coping, planning, positive reevaluation, acceptance, and sense of humor. Further data indicate negative relationships between coping strategies and self-efficacy for the strategy: seeking emotional support, seeking instrumental support, ceasing to act, and self-blame. The analysis of the results showed that participation in competitions differentiates the self-efficacy of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors. The obtained results constitute the basis for further research in this direction.
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Movement and body expression exercises are not the obvious choices for mainstream approaches to cognitive and socio-emotional learning. Here we present the preliminary findings of a youth led participatory action research project aiming at a better understanding of wellbeing and educational equity issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on exploring how meaning making and collaborative learning were facilitated through a movement and body expression exercise. Implications for mainstream educational practice are discussed.
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Background and aim: Considering the importance of developing complementary programs for students' academic achievement, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of music and different exercise methods (aerobic, resistance, flexibility, and combination) on the accuracy, depression, anxiety, stress, and the academic performance of female high school students before starting the lesson. Methods: In this study, 100 female high school students participated in pre- and post-test using cluster sampling method in six classrooms, while implementing training programs in research groups. The instruments used in this study were the Toulouse-Pieron attention test and the DOSS-21 test to measure students' anxiety, stress, and depression. Academic achievement was also calculated using students' academic grades. Results: The results of this study showed that the interventions presented in this study had a significant effect on the scoring of the Toulouse-Pieron attention test (P=0.001) and DOSS-21 (P=0.026). Music alone could not have a significant effect on accuracy, stress, depression, and anxiety (P>0.05), but music with different exercises had a significant effect on these variables (P<0.05). The results of this study also showed that the implementation of these exercises could significantly improve the academic performance of these students (P=0.003). Conclusion: The results of this study confirmed the importance of dynamic educational environments and providing creative exercises and the effectiveness of using music and physical activity as a complementary solution to improve the psychological, cognitive, and academic performance of students.
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The purpose of this study was to quantitatively combine and examine the results of studies pertaining to physical activity and cognition in children. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were coded based on design and descriptive characteristics, subject characteristics, activity characteristics, and cognitive assessment method. Effect sizes (ESs) were calculated for each study and an overall ES and average ESs relative to moderator variables were then calculated. ESs (n = 125) from 44 studies were included in the analysis. The overall ES was 0.32 (SD = 0.27), which was significantly different from zero. Significant moderator variables included publication status, subject age, and type of cognitive assessment. As a result of this statistical review of the literature, it is concluded that there is a significant positive relationship between physical activity and cognitive functioning in children.
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MRI and autopsy evidence of early maldevelopment of cerebellar vermis and hemispheres in autism raise the question of how cerebellar maldevelopment contributes to the cognitive and social deficits characteristic of autism. Compared with normal controls, autistic patients and patients with acquired cerebellar lesions were similarly impaired in a task requiring rapid and accurate shifts of attention between auditory and visual stimuli. Neurophysiologic and behavioral evidence rules out motor dysfunction as the cause of this deficit. These findings are consistent with the proposal that in autism cerebellar maldevelopment may contribute to an inability to execute rapid attention shifts, which in turn undermines social and cognitive development, and also with the proposal that the human cerebellum is involved in the coordination of rapid attention shifts in a fashion analogous to its role in the coordination of movement.
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Recent evidence that the cerebellum is involved in perception and cognition challenges the prevailing view that its primary function is fine motor control. A new alternative hypothesis is that the lateral cerebellum is not activated by the control of movement per se, but is strongly engaged during the acquisition and discrimination of sensory information. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lateral cerebellar output (dentate) nucleus during passive and active sensory tasks confirmed this hypothesis. These findings suggest that the lateral cerebellum may be active during motor, perceptual, and cognitive performances specifically because of the requirement to process sensory data.
The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7-15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.
[discusses a theory] that links the cerebellum and autism what is the evidence supporting this theory that autism involves brain damage to such a regulatory system [of joint social interchanges] and does this evidence lead to a fresh view of the role of the human neocerebellum / because shifting attention is one of the key operations employed during successful joint social interchanges, . . . designed experiments to test this operation in autistic patients / to determine whether damage to the neocerebellum impairs this operation, . . . tested nonautistic patients with acquired focal lesions of the neocerebellum / to determine whether impairment in shifting attention in autism may be the result of neocerebellar damage, . . . compared the shifting attention abilities of autistic patients with acquired lesions elsewhere to determine whether autism involves damage to the neocerebellum, . . . analyzed magnetic resonance (MR) images of the cerebellum in 50 autistic patients [2–39 yrs old] . . . and evaluated the results in light of the most recent quantitative autopsy studies of autism / to determine whether damage to this hypothesized regulatory system occurred prior to the developmental acquisition of the first joint social attention skills, . . . review this same MR and autopsy data (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The study of the neural correlates of motor behaviour at the systems level has received increasing consideration in recent years. One emerging observation from this research is that neural regions typically associated with cognitive operations may also be recruited during the performance of motor tasks. This apparent convergence between action and cognition - domains that have most often been studied in isolation - becomes especially apparent when examining new complex motor skills such as those involving sequencing or coordination, and when taking into account external (environment-related) factors such as feedback availability and internal (performer-related) factors such as pathology. Neurally, overlap between action and cognition is prominent in frontal lobe areas linked to response selection and monitoring. Complex motor tasks are particularly suited to reveal the crucial link between action and cognition and the generic brain areas at the interface between these domains.
Short-term and long-term retention of experimentally presented words were compared in a sample of 33 healthy normal volunteers by the [15O]H2O method with positron emission tomography (PET). The design included three conditions. For the long-term condition, subjects thoroughly studied 18 words 1 week before the PET study. For the short-term condition, subjects were shown another set of 18 words 60 sec before imaging, with instructions to remember them. For the baseline condition, subtracted from the two memory conditions, subjects read a third set of words that they had not previously seen in the experiment. Similar regions were activated in both short-term and long-term conditions: large right frontal areas, biparietal areas, and the left cerebellum. In addition, the short-term condition also activated a relatively large region in the left prefrontal region. These complex distributed circuits appear to represent the neural substrates for aspects of memory such as encoding, retrieval, and storage. They indicate that circuitry involved in episodic memory has much larger cortical and cerebellar components than has been emphasized in earlier lesion studies.