ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 1058-1071.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01058

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The effect of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive performance

ZHANG Bin, LIU Ying()   

  1. School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
  • Received:2017-11-16 Online:2019-06-15 Published:2019-04-22
  • Contact: LIU Ying


Acute aerobic exercise is a bout of aerobic exercise lasting from 10 to 60 minutes. Acute aerobic exercise can temporarily change cognitive performance, such as sensory sensitivity, memory, executive function. The effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive performance are varying, which are moderated by participant physical fitness level, exercise intensity and type of exercise. Arousal theory, Reticular- activating hypofrontality model, catecholamines hypothesis, BDNF hypothesis and strength model of self-control have been proposed to account for the effect of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive performance. Future studies are suggested to investigate the mechanism of how acute aerobic exercise effects cognitive performance, explore the interfering effects of different forms of acute aerobic exercise, such as mind-body exercises, group sports, and thus providing more evidence for the long-term ‘exercise prescriptions’.

Key words: acute exercise, aerobic exercise, executive function, moderator

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