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Poster D157

The influence of a single bout of aerobic exercise on creativity

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Gianna Jeyarajan1 (, Kabir Sodhi1, Samantha Marshall1, Jennifer Hanna Al-Shaikh1, Raphael Gabiazon1, Lindsay S. Nagamatsu1; 1The University of Western Ontario

Acute bouts of aerobic exercise have been reported to lead to improvements in various aspects of cognition (i.e., attention, memory, and executive function). One area of cognitive research that has not received as much focus is the relationship between exercise and creativity. Creative thinking allows individuals to view things originally and plays a crucial role in problem solving. Recent reviews have highlighted the positive influence of acute and chronic exercise on improving creativity. However, studies examining the influence of acute bouts of exercise on creativity in young adults are sparse, and limited by variations in methodology. The present study sought to examine whether engaging in acute exercise prior to or during assessments of creativity boosts creativity in young adults. The Alternate Uses Task (AUT) examines divergent thinking and measures four aspects of creativity: fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration. The time-constrained task required individuals to name as many alternative uses for an object that they can think of. Participants (n=60) were randomized into one of three conditions: (1) a 30-minute bout of aerobic exercise prior to the AUT, (2) a 30-minute bout of exercise during the AUT, and (3) watching a 30-min exercise video prior to the AUT. We report differences in AUT performance as a function of the timing of task administration and condition. To conclude, the timepoint of task administration has an influence on creativity in young adults. Interventions (i.e. exercise) that boost creativity have important applications, as creativity plays significant roles in problem solving, adaptation and innovation.

Topic Area: THINKING: Other


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