Rhee, Joo Hyun (2015-05). Acute Exercise Can Aid Offline Learning. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Evidence revealing the importance of chronic exercise for improving general physical health and maintaining long-term successful cognitive function is widely available but less information addressing the potential efficacy of an acute bout of exercise for learning perceptual-motor skills is available. The present study examined the efficacy of a short bout of moderately intensive exercise to protect knowledge of a newly acquired motor sequence. Previous work revealed that sleep-dependent offline gains in motor sequence performance could be decreased by practicing an alternative motor sequence in close temporal proximity to the original practice with the target motor sequence. Three experiments were conducted in an attempt to investigate the effect of acute exercise bout on offline learning and accompanying neurophysiological changes. In Experiment 1, a brief bout of exercise was inserted at two different temporal locations between practice of a to-be-learned motor sequence and the interfering practice that occurred 2-hr later. Exercise inserted close to alternative sequence practice minimized the negative quality of interference and facilitated the advent of offline gain. When exercise occurred immediately after acquisition of the target motor sequence, practice with the subsequent motor sequence led to interference which in turn reduced offline gain. In Experiment 2, an examination of the role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) for the offline gain observed in Experiment 1 was conducted. Blood samples were collected before and after an acute exercise bout. The relationship between blood lactate and plasma BDNF levels and offline learning was addressed. Although an acute exercise bout caused changes in blood lactate and plasma BDNF levels, those changes were not correlated with offline learning. The purpose of Experiment 3 was to examine the effect of an acute exercise bout performed immediately before motor sequence learning to consider the role of exercise for both fast and slow motor learning stages. An acute exercise bout was inserted prior to initial target sequence practice and the result revealed that prior exercise influenced the initial acquisition of motor sequence but did not impact the extent of offline enhancement. Thus, while exercise can contribute to post-practice consolidation, there appears to be a fragile interplay between spontaneous memory consolidation occurring after task practice and the consolidation processes induced via exercise. Moreover, the effect of an acute exercise bout inserted before practice appears to be quite transient and not important for offline learning.
  • Evidence revealing the importance of chronic exercise for improving general physical health and maintaining long-term successful cognitive function is widely available but less information addressing the potential efficacy of an acute bout of exercise for learning perceptual-motor skills is available. The present study examined the efficacy of a short bout of moderately intensive exercise to protect knowledge of a newly acquired motor sequence. Previous work revealed that sleep-dependent offline gains in motor sequence performance could be decreased by practicing an alternative motor sequence in close temporal proximity to the original practice with the target motor sequence. Three experiments were conducted in an attempt to investigate the effect of acute exercise bout on offline learning and accompanying neurophysiological changes. In Experiment 1, a brief bout of exercise was inserted at two different temporal locations between practice of a to-be-learned motor sequence and the interfering practice that occurred 2-hr later. Exercise inserted close to alternative sequence practice minimized the negative quality of interference and facilitated the advent of offline gain. When exercise occurred immediately after acquisition of the target motor sequence, practice with the subsequent motor sequence led to interference which in turn reduced offline gain. In Experiment 2, an examination of the role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) for the offline gain observed in Experiment 1 was conducted. Blood samples were collected before and after an acute exercise bout.

    The relationship between blood lactate and plasma BDNF levels and offline learning was addressed. Although an acute exercise bout caused changes in blood lactate and plasma BDNF levels, those changes were not correlated with offline learning. The purpose of Experiment 3 was to examine the effect of an acute exercise bout performed immediately before motor sequence learning to consider the role of exercise for both fast and slow motor learning stages. An acute exercise bout was inserted prior to initial target sequence practice and the result revealed that prior exercise influenced the initial acquisition of motor sequence but did not impact the extent of offline enhancement. Thus, while exercise can contribute to post-practice consolidation, there appears to be a fragile interplay between spontaneous memory consolidation occurring after task practice and the consolidation processes induced via exercise. Moreover, the effect of an acute exercise bout inserted before practice appears to be quite transient and not important for offline learning.

publication date

  • May 2015