The relation of aerobic fitness to task preparation was examined in a sample of young adults separated into higher- and lower-fit groups according to their maximal oxygen consumption. Participants performed a modified Sternberg working memory task under speed and accuracy instructions while measures of task performance and contingent negative variation (CNV) were collected. Analyses revealed no significant fitness differences between groups on task performance measures. However, frontal CNV amplitude was significantly larger for lower-fit participants compared to higher-fit participants during the speed instructions, an effect not found for the accuracy instructions. These results suggest that lower-fit individuals may rely to a greater extent on cognitive control processes to respond under speeded conditions, whereas higher-fit individuals may maintain a more constant level of control irrespective of the task instructions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology