Dose-Response Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise Intensity on Inhibitory Control in Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Yu Jung Tsai, Shu Shih Hsieh, Chung Ju Huang, Tsung Min Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study aimed to examine whether the effect of acute aerobic exercise on inhibitory control of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is moderated by exercise intensity. Using a within-subjects design, 25 children with ADHD completed a flanker task with concurrent collection of electroencephalography (EEG) data after three different intensities of treadmill running. The results showed that low- and moderate-intensity exercises resulted in shorter reaction times (RTs) relative to vigorous-intensity exercise during the incompatible condition of the flanker task regardless of task congruency. A P3 congruency effect was observed following low- and vigorous-intensity exercises but not after moderate-intensity exercise. The mean alpha power, a measure of cortical arousal, increased following low- and moderate-intensity exercises but decreased following vigorous-intensity exercise. In addition, the change in arousal level after moderate-intensity exercise was negatively correlated with RT during incompatible flanker tasks. The current findings suggest that children with ADHD have better inhibitory control following both low- and moderate-intensity exercises relative to vigorous aerobic exercise, which could be characterized by an optimal state of cortical arousal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number617596
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 18

Keywords

  • acute exercise
  • ADHD
  • arousal level
  • executive function
  • intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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