Effects of physical activity choice on implicit learning in young adults
The effects of physical activity (PA) on implicit learning (IL) "learning complex information without awareness" are still uncertain. Many have hypothesized that aerobic PA benefits include maintaining and improving certain cognitive functions. The main objective of this study was to determine how PA level and activity choice influence IL in young adults. The study used twenty-four healthy college-aged adult participants. Participant's PA level was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Long Form (IPAQ-LF), and IL was compared using the Triplets Learning Task (TLT). Participants were then placed into categories under IPAQ classifications. Moderate classification in PA for health benefits consists of meeting one of three criteria: (1) ≥ three d·wk-¹ of vigorous-intensity totaling 60 minutes (2) ≥ five d·wk-¹ of moderate-intensity ≥ 150 minutes or (3) ≥ five d·wk-¹ of any combination of walking, moderate-intensity, or vigorous-intensity activities totaling ≥ 600 MET-min·wk. The 4 choices of PA included (1) none (random activity), (2) resistance, (3) cardiovascular, or (4) a structured program plan. In this study, "learning" was defined by reaction time (RT) and accuracy compared to the median scores. Results from TLT indicated that PA level was statistically significant (p < 0.05) in explaining variance in the learning scores. In particular, participants who did PA of cardiovascular and resistance had faster response times and higher learning on the IL task than PA of low and random activity. In conclusion, the results suggest that moderate or vigorous PA assists in the improvement of IL.
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