The effects of exercise-induced fatigue on cognitive function
Moore, Robert Davis
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The primary purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the effect of acute exercise-induced,fatigue; on cognitive function. A review of the literature on acute; physical fatigue; and; cognitive function; demonstrated that; exercise; induced fatigue may affect specific lower level sensory/perceptual processes. Following 60 minutes of cycle ergometry, participants who exercised reported significantly more physical fatigue and demonstrated significant decrements in performance on a complex visual-discrimination task compared to participants who rested, p < .05. Participants who exercised also demonstrated increased response times during a cognitive-vigilance test compared to participants who rested, p< .05. Neuroelectric measures were taken during cognitive testing and participants who exercised demonstrated lower P3 amplitudes for the simple version of the visual-discrimination test compared to participants who rested, p< .05. The current study adds to previous theory driven research by further demonstrating that lower level, automated cognitive processes appear to be influenced by exercise-induced fatigue while upper level executive processes remain unaffected. Further, this study is the first to our knowledge to evaluate the time course of physical fatigue effects. Participants evidenced decrements 75 minutes post physical activity intervention.