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The immediate effects of an acute bout of moderate physical activity on cognitive processing in children.

Clark, Gary Edward (2008) The immediate effects of an acute bout of moderate physical activity on cognitive processing in children. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examined the effect of acute physical activity on cognitive tasks of 37, 7th and 8th grade females. Subjects' cognitive performance following acute physical activity was hypothesized to be significantly better on five tasks (choice reaction time, probed memory, dual task, vigilance, executive function) used in the study, with no significant difference in performance hypothesized for the sixth (simple reaction time). The study assessed cognitive tasks twice, following a 30 minute sedentary period and 30 minutes of physical activity. The within subject design compared the independent variable of physical activity level (activity or none) on the dependent variables simple reaction time, choice reaction time, dual task-tracking and simple reaction time, vigilance, probed memory, and executive function.Results indicated that for the simple reaction time task subjects demonstrated significantly faster (reaction and movement) times following acute physical activity. For choice reaction time the percent of correct responses was significantly higher following sedentary behavior, while for choice reaction and movement time, subjects were significantly faster following acute physical activity. Analysis of probed memory reported no significance between the scores following the two activity sessions. Analysis of dual task reported no significance for two subcomponents, however a significant difference was reported for the third subcomponent.Analysis of vigilance reported subjects demonstrated significantly improved performance on two subcomponents following physical activity. Analysis of the third subcomponent did not report significance. Performance on the executive function task was mixed with no significance reported for subjects between the following physical activity and following sedentary behavior scores, while significance was reported with regard to time to complete the task.Levels of significance were not reached for every task, however there was a trend consistent with expectations for those that did not reach significance (With the exception of choice reaction time percentage of correct responses.), following physical activity, performance was better.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Clark, Gary
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGallagher, Jeregal@pitt.eduGAL
Committee MemberJohnson, Carljohnson@pitt.eduJOHNSON
Committee MemberDuquin, Marymduquin@pitt.eduMDUQUIN
Committee MemberRobertson, Robertrrobert@pitt.eduRROBERT
Date: 29 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 April 2008
Approval Date: 29 September 2008
Submission Date: 31 July 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health, Physical, Recreational Education
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: acute; children; cognitive function; physical activity
Other ID:, etd-07312008-064225
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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