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Title:Aerobic Fitness and Attentional Control in Preadolescent Children
Author(s):Buck, Sarah M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Charles Hillman
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:The nature of the relationship between aerobic fitness and the attentional networks was assessed in forty-six preadolescent children. Neuroelectric (P3 amplitude and latency) and behavioral (accuracy, response time [RT]) indices of cognitive performance were assessed during the Attention Network Test (ANT). Children were divided into higher and lower aerobic fitness groups based on a graded exercise test (GXT) that assessed maximal oxygen consumption (VO 2 max). The ANT was used to measure the efficiency of three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control (i.e., interference control). This task has conditions that require both smaller and larger executive components, and allows for the assessment of general versus selective influences of fitness on cognitive processing. Previous research on aerobic fitness and cognition in adults has found the strongest relationship for tasks requiring executive control. However, research conducted with children has not yielded the same results, suggesting aerobic fitness may have a more general effect on cognition during the developmental period of the lifespan. Thus, further research is necessary to gain insight into the general versus selective nature of the relationship between fitness and cognition. Results indicated higher-fit, compared to lower-fit, preadolescent children exhibited decreased P3 latency, suggesting that aerobic fitness is beneficial to neuroelectric indices of cognitive function, and indicating they have faster cognitive processing speed than lower fit children. Further, higher-fit, compared to lower-fit, preadolescent children showed increased behavioral performance as indexed by shorter RT, suggesting aerobic fitness is beneficial to behavioral indices of cognitive function. Interestingly, however, there were no differences between groups for the attention networks of alerting and orienting. Differences were only observed in the executive control network, although these differences were generalized within the network. These findings suggest that aerobic fitness is related to improved cognitive processes and their neural origins, and indicate that the relationship between fitness and cognitive function may change across the human lifespan.
Issue Date:2007
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:133 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/86387
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290187
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007


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