A growing number of neuroelectric studies using event-related brain potentials have demonstrated that greater aerobic fitness is associated with superior cognitive functioning across the lifespan. However, empirical data regarding the association between fitness and attentional orienting is scarce, with no evidence in children, and the findings are inconclusive. We designed the present study to examine the relationship between aerobic fitness and involuntary attentional orientation to task-irrelevant information in preadolescent children. Lower-fit and higher-fit children performed a visual oddball task in which irregular (i.e., rule-violating) stimuli appeared as a task-irrelevant dimension, while measures of task performance and the P3a component elicited by the irregular stimuli were assessed. Analyses revealed that higher-fit children exhibited lower miss rates and smaller P3a amplitude relative to lower-fit children. These findings suggest that greater childhood fitness is associated with more efficient inhibition of task-irrelevant information.
- Attentional orientation
- Childhood fitness
- Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
- Task-irrelevant information
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology