High-intensity exercise is generally considered to have detrimental effects on cognition. However, high-fitness levels are suggested to alleviate this effect.
The specific objective of this review was to evaluate the literature on the effect of acute high-intensity exercise on cognitive performance in trained individuals.
Studies were sourced through electronic databases, reference lists of retrieved articles and manual searches of relevant reviews. Included studies examined trained participants; included a high-intensity exercise bout; used a control or comparison group/condition; and assessed cognitive performance via general laboratory tasks during or ≤10 minutes following exercise cessation.
Ten articles met inclusion criteria. Results indicated that the effect of acute high-intensity exercise on cognitive performance in trained individuals is dependent on the specific cognitive domain being assessed. Generally, simple tasks were not affected whilst the results on complex tasks remain ambiguous. Furthermore, accuracy showed little tendency to be influenced by high-intensity exercise compared to measures of speed.
Multiple factors influence the acute exercise-cognition relationship and thus future research should be highly specific when outlining criteria such as fitness levels, exercise intensity and exercise mode. Furthermore, greater research is needed assessing more cognitive domains, greater exercise durations/types, and trained populations at high-intensities.
|Title of host publication||Sport and the Brain: The Science of Preparing, Enduring and Winning, Part B|
|Editors||Vincent Walsh, Mark Wilson, Beth Parkin|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge, MA|
|Number of pages||358|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2017|
|Name||Progress in Brain Research|