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Poster B82

The Immediate Impact of Moderate Exercise on Working Memory Capacity

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Xinyun Che1 (, Stefan Dürschmid1,2; 1Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, 2University of California Berkeley

Physical Exercise (PE) is widely acknowledged for its positive impact on cognition and specifically on short-term memory. However, the precise neurophysiological mechanisms of performance improvements are unclear. We developed an MEG-compatible pedal exercises – mimicking walking – to explore PE’s impact on working memory (WM). In simultaneous MEG/EEG recordings participants carried out an N-back task with varying WM loads across blocks and either rested or walked during 2-min-breaks between blocks. PE improved target detection, heightened EEG-spindle activity. MEG ripples (80-150Hz) displayed consistent cortical distribution, with the highest ripple occurrences detected bilaterally across MEG sensors covering the medial temporal lobe (MTL) region. Ripple likelihood correlated with the N-back levels and predicted individual target detection performance. Importantly, PE increase in ripple-spindle coupling, which plays a crucial role in memory consolidation. In summary, our study shows working memory improvement with PE through enhanced ripple-spindle coupling.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory


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April 13–16  |  2024