Exercise mode and executive function in older adults: An ERP study of task-switching

Chih Ta Dai, Yu Kai Chang*, Chung Ju Huang, Tsung Min Hung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between exercise mode and executive function and its effect on behavior and neuroelectric activity. Forty-eight older adults were classified into open-skill, closed-skill, and irregular exercise groups based on their experience of exercise participation. Executive function was measured via a task-switching paradigm, in which the behavioral indices and event-related potentials elicited by task-switching were assessed. The results revealed that the exercise groups, regardless of the exercise mode, exhibited faster reaction times in both global and local switches than the irregular exercise group, regardless of the within-task conditions. Similarly, larger P3 amplitudes were observed in both exercise groups compared to the irregular exercise group. Moreover, additional facilitation effects of open-skill exercises on global switch costs were observed, whereas no differences in local switch costs were found among the three groups. The results replicate previous studies that have reported generally improved executive function after participation in exercises; additionally, they extend the current knowledge by indicating that these cognitive improvements in specific aspects of executive function could also be obtained from open-skill exercises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • Executive function
  • Physical activity
  • Task-switching
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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