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Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2013;20(3):356-69. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2012.715625. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Physical activity is related to timing performance in older adults.

Author information

1
School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. aszabo@kumc.edu

Abstract

Physical activity has been linked to better cognitive function in older adults, especially for executive control processes. Researchers have suggested that temporal processing of durations less than 1 second is automatic and engages motor processes, while timing of longer durations engages executive processes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a higher level of physical activity is associated with better reproduction performance in older adults, especially for durations in the "cognitive" range (i.e., longer than 1 s). Older right-handed adults completed a temporal reproduction task with five target durations (300, 650, 1000, 1350, and 1700 ms). Physical activity level was assessed via estimation of VO2 peak using a self-report activity scale. Results indicated that higher physical activity level was associated with better timing accuracy and that this effect was dependent on target duration. Namely, the relationship between physical activity and timing accuracy was strongest at the longest durations. Therefore, greater physical activity in older adults may have specific benefits linked to better executive functions.

PMID:
22917438
PMCID:
PMC3528826
DOI:
10.1080/13825585.2012.715625
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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