Exploring the influence of a 4-week aerobic exercise intervention on cognitive control processes in young adults: An SFT and DDM study

Hao Lun Fu, Cheng Ta Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Prior research has highlighted the potential impact of aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning, particularly in situations demanding heightened cognitive control. However, the mechanism underlying this cognitive enhancement has remained unknown. To address this issue, this study examined the impact of a 4-week aerobic exercise program on cognitive control processes in young male adults (aerobic exercise group: n = 36, aged 21.42 ± 1.13 years) in comparison to a control group that received no treatment (n = 33, aged 21.82 ± 1.76 years). We employed the redundant-target Stroop task to investigate inhibition processes at both perceptual and semantic stages. Utilizing systems factorial technology and the drift diffusion model, we assessed changes in resilience capacity and the underlying cognitive mechanisms. Our primary findings revealed a significant reduction in mean response times (RTs) in the aerobic exercise group, accompanied by a decrease in RT variability when inhibiting semantic processing. Resilience capacity significantly declined in both groups at similar levels. Notably, the aerobic exercise group exhibited an enhanced drift rate during automatic response inhibition and reduced non-decision time in the condition involving the inhibition of perceptual information. This study deepens our understanding of how a 4-week aerobic exercise program enhances cognitive control, affecting distinct cognitive processes, including processing speed, information accumulation during automatic response inhibition, and sensory and motor processes in perceptual conflicts. Our research underscores the potential of aerobic exercise as a means to boost cognitive control among young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnhancement of Brain Functions Prompted by Physical Activity Vol 1
EditorsChi-Hung Juan, Chun-Hao Wang, Shih-Chun Kao
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9780443221965
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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