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Contributing to a meta-analysis on the effects of acute physical exercise on the executive functions of preadolescent children, adolescents and adults

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The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts

The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts of assisted cycling improves cognitive and upper extremity movement functions in adolescents with Down syndrome" and "Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) improves inhibition in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." From the data requested, the participants were required to complete three separate tests (i.e., Tower of London, Trail Making Task and the Stroop Test). After compiling the data and sending it to her, we decided to conduct a small meta-analysis of our own, drawing connecting conclusions from the data from the two studies. We concluded that observationally our data suggest an advantage for ACT over voluntary cycling and no cycling across two separate populations (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome), and across different measures of executive function (i.e., Stroop Test, Trail Making Test, and Tower of London). The data suggest that the ACT interventions may promote the upregulation of neurotropic factors leading to neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

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2016-12

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The reality of directed forgetting in the item-method paradigm: suppression, not selective search or decay

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It has been suggested that directed forgetting (DF) in the item-method paradigm results from selective rehearsal of R items and passive decay of F items. However, recent evidence suggested that the passive decay explanation is insufficient. The current experiments examined

It has been suggested that directed forgetting (DF) in the item-method paradigm results from selective rehearsal of R items and passive decay of F items. However, recent evidence suggested that the passive decay explanation is insufficient. The current experiments examined two theories of DF that assume an active forgetting process: (1) attentional inhibition and (2) tagging and selective search (TSS). Across three experiments, the central tenets of these theories were evaluated. Experiment 1 included encoding manipulations in an attempt to distinguish between these competing theories, but the results were inconclusive. Experiments 2 and 3 examined the theories separately. The results from Experiment 2 supported a representation suppression account of attentional inhibition, while the evidence from Experiment 3 suggested that TSS was not a viable mechanism for DF. Overall, the results provide additional evidence that forgetting is due to an active process, and suggest this process may act to suppress the representations of F items.

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Date Created
2011

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Oppositional processes in divergent thinking

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In this study, the oppositional processes theory was proposed to suggest that reliance on semantic and episodic memory systems hinder originality during idea generation for divergent thinking tasks that are generally used to assess creative potential. In order to investigate

In this study, the oppositional processes theory was proposed to suggest that reliance on semantic and episodic memory systems hinder originality during idea generation for divergent thinking tasks that are generally used to assess creative potential. In order to investigate the proposed oppositional processes theory, three experiments that manipulated the memory accessibility in participants during the alternative uses tasks were conducted. Experiment 1 directly instructed participants to either generate usages based on memory or not from memory; Experiment 2 provided participants with object cues that were either very common or very rare in daily life (i.e., bottle vs. canteen); Experiment 3 replicated the same manipulation from Experiment 2 with much longer generation time (10 minutes in Experiment 2 vs. 30 minutes in Experiment 3). The oppositional processes theory predicted that participants who had less access to direct and unaltered usages (i.e., told to not use memory, were given rare cues, or were outputting items later in the generation period) during the task would be more creative. Results generally supported the predictions in Experiments 1 and 2 where participants from conditions which limited their access to memory generated more novel usages that were considered more creative by independent coders. Such effects were less prominent in Experiment 3 with extended generation time but the trends remained the same.

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2017