Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S.E.S. in Exercise Science

First Advisor

Paul D. Loprinzi

Second Advisor

Xin Ye

Third Advisor

Toshikazu Ikuta

Relational Format



Prior research suggests that behavioral (e.g., acute exercise) and psychological factors (e.g., metamemory; monitoring and control of one’s memory processes) may influence memory function. However, there is conflicting results on the optimal intensity of acute exercise to enhance memory and whether acute exercise can also enhance metamemory. Further, very limited research has evaluated whether acute exercise can influence source episodic memory. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate whether there is an intensity-specific effect of acute aerobic exercise on source episodic memory and metamemory accuracy. A secondary objective was to evaluate if cardiorespiratory fitness moderates this potential relationship. Thirty young adults participated in a three condition (Control/Moderate/Vigorous-Intensity Exercise), within-subject counterbalanced experimental study. After each intervention, participants completed source episodic memory and metamemory tasks. Results demonstrated that acute exercise, relative to control, was effective in enhancing source episodic memory, but not metamemory accuracy. Vigorous-intensity acute exercise was the most optimal intensity to enhance source episodic memory and this effect was not influenced by cardiorespiratory fitness. Overall, our findings suggest that there is an intensity-specific effect of acute exercise on source episodic memory. Further, when exercise-related improvements in memory occur, young adults may be unaware of these memory benefits from exercise.

Available for download on Sunday, June 04, 2023