Matching Items (7)
- All Subjects: Down syndrome
- All Subjects: working memory
- Creators: Amazeen, Eric
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
Effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome
The benefits of exercise have been recommended in typical and other special populations. However, the evidence for persons with Down syndrome (DS) is still limited. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise intervention on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with DS. Ten participants with DS were assigned to an exercise group, who walked on a incremental treadmill protocol for 20 minutes. The exercise intensity was achieved at 66% of their predicted maximum heart rate. Another ten participants with DS were assigned to an attentional control group, who watched a video for 20 minutes. Measures of fine manual dexterity (e.g., Purdue Pegboard test), manual force production (e.g., grip strength test), processing speed (e.g., visual choice reaction time test), verbal processing (e.g., verbal fluency test), attention shifting ability (e.g., The Dimensional Card sorting test), and inhibitory control (e.g., Knock and Tap test) were tested pre and post intervention. An intrinsic motivation scale (e.g., enjoyment and effort) was conducted after the intervention. First, results showed participants significantly improved their performance in manual force production and Knock and Tap Test after the exercise intervention. While it has been proposed that exercise increases arousal status, neurotransmitters, or cerebral vasculature, the exact mechanisms in persons with DS are still unknown. However, our results showed that after treadmill walking, motor and cognitive improvements can be found in individuals with DS, even in a single exercise session. In addition, participants reported higher scores in enjoyment after video viewing than exercise, which may a result from musical effect or too much emphasis on external rewards in their early participation in exercise. These may imply that participants had low intrinsic motivation to an active lifestyle. Further, scores in effort were significantly higher after exercise than video viewing, which indicated their capabilities to perceive their physical exertion. However, other motivational regulations (e.g., introjected and identified regulations) have shown the relationship with exercise behavior in this population. Thus, further study should consider divergent motivational factors in order to implement an effective exercise program.
Individual differences in working memory capacity partly arise from variability in attention control, a process influenced by negative emotional content. Thus, individual differences in working memory capacity should be predictive of differences in the ability to regulate attention in emotional contexts. To address this hypothesis, a complex-span working memory task (symmetry span) was modified so that negative arousing images or neutral images subtended the background during the encoding phase. Across three experiments, negative arousing images impaired working memory encoding relative to neutral images, resulting in impoverished symmetry span scores. Additionally, in Experiment 3, both negative and arousing images captured attention and led to increased hit rates in a subsequent recognition task. Contrary to the primary hypothesis, individual differences in working memory capacity derived from three complex span tasks failed to moderate the effect of negative arousing images on working memory encoding across two large scale studies. Implications for theories of working memory and attention control in emotional contexts will be discussed.
This study examines cognitive planning in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-three participants were randomly assigned to assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., at least 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), voluntary cycling (VC) (self-selected cadence), and no cycling (NC) control group. Both AC and VC rode a stationary bicycle three times/week, 30 minutes/session, for eight weeks in duration. Participants completed cognitive testing that assessed cognitive planning at the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (i.e., posttest) of the 8-week intervention. Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that cognitive planning improved following eight weeks of cycling for the AC group. The same results were not seen for individuals in the VC or NC groups. Our results suggest that assisted cycling therapy may induce permanent changes in the prefrontal cortex in adolescents with DS.
Examination of One Month Retention of Executive Function in Assisted Cycling Therapy on Adolescents with Down Syndrome
This study examines the one month retention of executive function benefits gained by adolescents with Down syndrome after an 8-week aerobic exercise intervention. Sixteen participants were randomly divided between voluntary (VC) (i.e., self-selected cadence) and assisted (AC) (i.e., 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor) cycling groups, with one participant used as a control (NC). Both cycling groups rode a stationary bicycle, for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight weeks. At the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (posttest) of the 8-week session, three executive functions including: set-switching, inhibition, and cognitive planning, were tested. Approximately one month after the posttest, all participants underwent the cognitive testing again. The results showed that for the AC group cognitive planning improved after eight weeks of assisted cycling and these improvements were maintained after one month of no cycling. However, no significant differences were found between the cycling groups for our measure of inhibition. Set-switching appeared to be improved by both types of exercise, rather than only assisted, but the improvements were not maintained during the one month retention period for either group. Thus, our results suggest that Assisted Cycling causes potentially permanent changes in the brain in regards to cognitive planning.
Effects of Assisted Cycle Therapy on Short Term and Working Memory in Adolescents with Down Syndrome
To examine the effect of an 8-week cycling intervention on short term and working memory in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS), participants were divided into Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT), Voluntary Cycling (VC), or No Cycling (NC) groups. Forward and backward digit span assessments were administered prior to and after the intervention to evaluate short term and working memory respectively. 8 weeks of exercise via ACT showed a trend toward conventional levels of significance in the number of levels completed in the backward direction.
This study examines the effect of exercise therapy on a stationary bike on cognitive function, specifically inhibition and set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome. 44 participants were randomly divided between the voluntary cycling therapy group (VCT) (i.e., self-selected cadence), assisted cycling therapy group (ACT) (i.e., 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), and a control group (NC) in which the participants did not undergo any exercise therapy. Both cycling groups rode a stationary bicycle, for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight-weeks. At the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (i.e., posttest) of the eight-week session the participants completed tasks to evaluate their cognitive function. They completed three trials of the card sort test (i.e., set-switching) and three trials of the knock-tap test (i.e, inhibition) before and after eight-weeks of cycling therapy. The scores of these tests were analyzed using one-way ANOVA between groups and paired samples t-tests. The results showed that after eight-weeks of cycling therapy the participants in the VCT group performed worse in the knock-tap test, but improved in two trials of the card sort test. The results also showed that the participants in the ACT group performed worse after eight-weeks of exercise therapy in one trial of the card sort test. No significant changes were seen for the control group. Due to the fact that on average the participants in the VCT group cycled with a higher heart rate, our results suggest exercise that significantly elevates heart rate can improve cognitive function, specifically set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome.
The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so the purpose of this experiment is to analyze the influence of music on running from a more dynamical approach. The first experiment was a running task involving running without a metronome and running with one while setting one's own preferred running tempo. The second experiment sought to manipulate the participant's preferred running tempo by having them listen to the metronome set at their preferred tempo, 20% above their preferred tempo, or 20% below. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether or not rhythmic perturbations different to one's preferred running tempo would interfere with one's preferred running tempo and cause a change in the variability of one's running patterns as well as a change in one's running performance along the measures of step rate, stride length, and stride pace. The evidence suggests that participants naturally entrained to the metronome tempo which influenced them to run faster or slower as a function of metronome tempo. However, this change was also accompanied by a shift in the variability of one's step rate and stride length.