Aerobic exercise and neurocognitive performance: a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials.
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OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of aerobic exercise training on neurocognitive performance. Although the effects of exercise on neurocognition have been the subject of several previous reviews and meta-analyses, they have been hampered by methodological shortcomings and are now outdated as a result of the recent publication of several large-scale, randomized, controlled trials (RCTs). METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature review of RCTs examining the association between aerobic exercise training on neurocognitive performance between January 1966 and July 2009. Suitable studies were selected for inclusion according to the following criteria: randomized treatment allocation; mean age > or =18 years of age; duration of treatment >1 month; incorporated aerobic exercise components; supervised exercise training; the presence of a nonaerobic-exercise control group; and sufficient information to derive effect size data. RESULTS: Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria and were included in our analyses, representing data from 2049 participants and 234 effect sizes. Individuals randomly assigned to receive aerobic exercise training demonstrated modest improvements in attention and processing speed (g = 0.158; 95% confidence interval [CI]; 0.055-0.260; p = .003), executive function (g = 0.123; 95% CI, 0.021-0.225; p = .018), and memory (g = 0.128; 95% CI, 0.015-0.241; p = .026). CONCLUSIONS: Aerobic exercise training is associated with modest improvements in attention and processing speed, executive function, and memory, although the effects of exercise on working memory are less consistent. Rigorous RCTs are needed with larger samples, appropriate controls, and longer follow-up periods.
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Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d14633
Publication InfoBlumenthal, James Alan; Browndyke, Jeffrey Nicholas; Cooper, Harris M; Hoffman, BM; Sherwood, Andrew; Smith, Patrick J; ... Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen Anne (2010). Aerobic exercise and neurocognitive performance: a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Psychosom Med, 72(3). pp. 239-252. 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d14633. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/13857.
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J. P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry I
Psychosocial factors and coronary heart disease, including such factors as social support, Type A behavior and hostility, and depression, exercise training and depression in the elderly; behavioral approaches to the treatment of hypertension (e.g., weight loss and exercise); cardiac rehabilitation; neuropsychological outcomes following cardiac surgery; psychosocial aspects of heart and lung transplantation; exercise training and osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia; compliance.
Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Browndyke is an Associate Professor of Geriatric Behavioral Health in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He also holds affiliate faculty appointments with the Duke Brain Imaging & Analysis Center (BIAC), Duke Institute for Brain Science (DIBS), Center for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), and the Duke Center for Geriatric Surgery. He has dual appointment to the Duke University Medical Center and the Durham VA Medical Center, the latter of which is where his c
Hugo L. Blomquist Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is now Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Fou
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
My current research focus is on biological, behavioral and sociocultural factors involved in the etiology and management of hypertension, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure. The role of stress and the sympathetic nervous system in disease onset and progression is of central interest. Current research issues being studied include: (i) Ethnicity and gender as factors related to the pathogenesis of hypertension; (ii) Mechanisms by which menopause increases the risk of card
Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Smith is interested in the impact of lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise, on neurocognitive function and mood. He has also published multiple studies examining the relationship between cardiovascular disease, major depressive disorder, and neurocognitive outcomes, preoperative predictors of postoperative delirium, the impact of cardiothoracic interventions on neurocognitive outcomes, and the relationship between patterns of dietary intake and cardiovascular outcomes. He is als
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Professor Strauman's research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes that enable self-regulation, conceptualized in terms of a cognitive/motivational perspective, as well as the relation between self-regulation and affect. Particular areas of emphasis include: (1) conceptualizing self-regulation in terms of brain/behavior motivational systems; (2) the role of self-regulatory cognitive processes in vulnerability to depression and other disorders; (3) the impact of tre
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer is a Professor of Psychiatry with a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurology. She is also the Chief of the Medical Psychology CPU, the professional home for the over 200 academic psychologists within Duke Medical Center. Clinically trained as a neuropsychologist, Dr. Welsh-Bohmer's research activities have been focused around developing effective prevention and treatment strategies to delay the onset of
Alphabetical list of authors with Scholars@Duke profiles.