The effects of exercise-cognition integrated training for enhancement (ExCITE) program on cognitive health
Neo, Shao Hoon
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Although research has demonstrated the individual effectiveness of behavioral and cognitive interventions on cognition, studies on an integrated approach are lacking and inadequate. The current study evaluates a training program, called the Exercise-Cognition Integrated Training for Enhancement (ExCITE) program that includes cognitive control into a physical activity in a congruent manner. The aim of the study is to examine the transfer effects of ExCITE on various near and far cognitive constructs, in addition to the maintenance of transfer effects. As literature has found that the extent of cognitive gains is influenced by the amount of cognitive reserve an individual have, the current study aims to examine the correlation between cognitive reserve and cognitive gains from training. The effect of training on mood and motivation is also investigated due to the positive relationship found between exercise, mood and motivation. Two participant groups (older and young adults) participated in the ExCITE program across five weeks with cognitive assessments and various questionnaires administered as various time points. Analysis found that in addition to the improvement in the training program, participants also displayed near transfer effects in processing speed, attention, task-switching and working memory cognitive modalities, as well as improvement in cognitive constructs of memory encoding and pattern separation which were considered to show a far transfer effect. Working memory gains from training were observed to maintain two weeks following training. A statistical significant effect was observed for mood, but no change was detected in motivation. Cognitive gains in working memory were found to be strongly correlated with working activity, leisure time and the average score of three domains. Implications and limitations of the study were also discussed. A power analysis suggested that more participants should be recruited in future studies, and the training duration and intensity of ExCITE program could be increased for a more effective outcome.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University