Moderate intensity exercise facilitates working memory

Amadeu Quelhas Martins, Maria Kavussanu, Adrian Willoughby, Christopher Ring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Although the effect of exercise on cognitive functioning has received considerable empirical and theoretical attention, the influence of concurrent exercise on complex cognitive function remains poorly understood. Our research was designed to investigate working memory during a bout of dynamic exercise.

An experimental design was used.

In two experiments, we examined the impact of moderate intensity exercise on performance of a paced auditory serial addition task (Experiment 1, N = 24) and a Sternberg task (Experiment 2, N = 120). The tasks were performed at rest and while cycling at different power outputs.

We found that moderate intensity exercise increased the number of correct responses at medium-to-fast stimulus presentation rates during the paced auditory serial addition task and lowered the response latency slopes during the Sternberg task.

Our findings show that working memory is improved by dynamic exercise at moderate intensities and short duration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


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