Previous studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between aerobic fitness and cognitive control, the ability to inhibit distractions (conflict control) or impulsive actions (response inhibition). However, it is unknown whether these sub-processes and their underlying information processing capacity are differentially related to aerobic fitness. To address this question, we employed a go/no-go version of the redundant-target task, which was administered concurrently with the recording of event-related potentials (ERPs) and the use of a reaction-time based diagnostic tool known as system factorial technology (SFT). Our sample consisted of 46 young male adults with varying levels of aerobic fitness: the high-fit group (n = 23; aged 21.33 ± 2.44 years; VO2max 58.83 ± 6.93 ml/kg/min) and the low-fit group (n = 23; aged 22.30 ± 1.40 years; VO2max 41.90 ± 4.01 ml/kg/min). The results showed that the high-fit group exhibited a lower false-alarm rate compared to the low-fit group. However, there was no difference in processing speed between the two groups. The SFT analysis revealed that the high-fit group had more efficient information processing for earlier responses, but not later responses, compared to the low-fit group. Analysis of the ERPs indicated that the high-fit group had larger N2d amplitudes and shorter P3d latencies during conflict control compared to the low-fit group, while there were no such effects for the process of response inhibition. These findings suggest that aerobic fitness may be differentially related to the temporal dynamics and sub-processes of cognitive control.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience