Aging, exercise, and attention.

H. L. Hawkins, A. F. Kramer, D. Capaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The authors investigated the relationship among aging, attentional processes, and exercise in 2 experiments. First they examined age differences on 2 attentional tasks, a time-sharing task and an attentional flexibility task. Young adults alternated attention between 2 sequenced tasks more rapidly and time-shared the processing of 2 tasks more efficiently than older adults. They then investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on the same 2 attentional tasks in older adults. Following the 10-week exercise program, older exercisers showed substantially more improvement in alternation speed and time-sharing efficiency than older controls. Interestingly, this exercise effect was specific to dual-task processing. Both groups of subjects showed equivalent effects on single-task performance. These results indicate that aerobic exercise can exert a beneficial influence on the efficiency of at least 2 different attentional processes in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-653
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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