Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul Loprinzi

Second Advisor

KoFan Lee

Third Advisor

Matthew Reysen

Relational Format



Objective: The majority of previous research evaluate the effects of acute exercise on memory function have focused on explicit memory tasks involving word-list paradigms. For more real-world application, the present experiment evaluates whether high-intensity acute exercise can improve implicit memory function as well as increase one’s ability to remember names associated with faces (face-name paradigm). Methods: A two-arm, parallel-group, randomized controlled intervention was employed. Participants (N=91; Mage= 20 yrs) were randomized into one of two groups, including an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group exercised for 20 minutes on a treadmill at a high-intensity (75% of heart rate reserve), while the control group engaged in a seated, time-matched task. Explicit memory was assessed via a face-name paradigm in which participants encoded and subsequently recalled names that were paired with faces. Implicit memory was evaluated with computerized program involving spatial-temporal integration. Results: The acute exercise group recalled more face-name pairs than the control group (11.16 words vs. 9.79 words), but this did not reach statistical significance (p = .25). There were also no group differences for implicit memory (p =.57).Conclusion: We did not observe convincing evidence that high-intensity acute exercise influences face-name explicit memory or implicit memory function. However, future work on this under-investigated topic is needed. Keywords: Cognition; cognitive function; physical activity

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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