Poster B30, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Cycling as an effective modality for improving inhibitory control and maintaining brain function and academic performance in 9- to 10-year-old children
Caroline C. Meadows1, Charles H. Hillman2, Eric S. Drollette1; 1University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2Northeastern University
Acute aerobic exercise has demonstrated positive effects on inhibitory control in children. However, regarding academic performance and underlying neural mechanisms during and following acute exercise, the evidence is not well established. The aim of the present investigation was to examine the effects of moderate stationary cycling on academic achievement and event-related potentials (ERPs) during an inhibitory control task in 9- to 10-year-old children. Children (n = 34) completed a standardized math and reading test (WRAT3) and a hybrid no-go/flanker task (assess attentional and motor inhibition) on two separate counterbalanced days (i.e., cycling, seated rest). Math and reading were assessed during cycling and seated rest while task performance and the P3 ERP component were assessed during and after both conditions. Although results revealed no change in math and reading during cycling, greater overall no-go/flanker accuracy was observed during and after cycling compared to seated rest. Additionally, a decrease in P3 amplitude was observed during cycling and after seated rest compared to during seated rest, suggesting greater temporal reductions in P3 amplitude across the rest condition compared to the cycling condition. Collectively, results demonstrate improvements in inhibitory control during and after cycling without decrements in neuroelectrical underpinnings of attention and performance on math and reading tests. Together, acute moderate bouts of cycling may be an effective exercise modality for improving aspects of inhibitory control that facilitate behavior in children. Such findings have implications for promoting acute bouts of aerobic physical activity in the classroom by improving behavior without interfering with academic endeavors.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control