Acute effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive function in older adults

Keita Kamijo*, Yoichi Hayashi, Tomoaki Sakai, Tatsuhisa Yahiro, Kiyoji Tanaka, Yoshiaki Nishihira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive brain functions of older adults. Twenty-four males (12 older and 12 younger adults) performed a modified flanker task during a baseline session (no exercise) and after light and moderate cycling exercise in counterbalanced order on different days while measures of task performance and the P3 component of an event-related brain potential were collected. The results indicated that, for both age groups, reaction time following moderate exercise was shorter relative to the other sessions, and P3 latencies following both light and moderate exercise were shorter compared with the baseline session. In contrast, P3 amplitude increased only following moderate exercise in younger adults. These findings suggest that light and moderate exercises improve cognitive function across the adult lifespan, although the mechanisms underlying the effects of observed acute aerobic exercise on cognitive function may be age dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May


  • Acute aerobic exercise
  • Cognitive function
  • Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
  • Older adults
  • P3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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