Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul Loprinzi

Relational Format



Background: Our recent experimental work demonstrated that high-intensity acute exercise improved veridical (true) memories and also increased the rate of false memories. The present experiment was designed to re-evaluate these effects for replication purposes. We also extend this literature by evaluating whether these effects are influenced by the timing of acute exercise. Methods: The sample included young adults (N=37; Mage = 21.16 years). We employed a three-condition, within-group, counterbalanced controlled design, consisting of two exercise conditions and a control condition. The exercise conditions involved a 15-minute bout of high-intensity acute exercise. These conditions included the bout of exercise either Before or During the memory task. The control condition involved a time-matched seated task (video). Memory performance was evaluated from the DRM (Deese-Roediger-McDermott) paradigm, including an immediate and delayed (20-min post encoding) time period assessment. For veridical memory, we observed a significant main effect for condition, F(1.98, 71.30) = 17.82, p < .001, η2 = .13, main effect for time period, F(1.00, 36.00) = 74.83, p < .001, η2 = .11, but no condition by time period interaction, F(1.97, 71.06) = .26, p = .77, η2 = .0001. Veridical memory was lower for the During condition when compared to the Before condition, Mdiff = -1.42, SE = .32, t = 4.32, p < .001, and Control condition, Mdiff = -1.64, SE = .29, t = 5.52, p < .001. For false memory, although not statistically significant, false memory rates were highest for the During (62.2%) vs. Before (48.6%) and Control (48.6%) conditions. Conclusion: High-intensity acute exercise prior to memory encoding did not affect veridical memory performance. However, we observed evidence to suggest that memory encoding during high-intensity acute exercise reduces veridical memory performance and may, potentially, increase false memory rates.



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