The purpose of the present study was to examine how obesity and cardiovascular fitness are associated with the inhibition aspect of executive function from behavioral and electrophysiological perspectives. One hundred college students, aged 18-25 years, were categorized into four groups of equal size on the basis of body mass index and cardiovascular fitness: a normal-weight and high-fitness (NH) group, an obese-weight and high-fitness (OH) group, a normal-weight and low-fitness (NL) group, and an obese-weight and low-fitness (OL) group. Behavioral measures of response time and number of errors, as well as event-related potential measures of P3 and N1, were assessed during the Stroop Task. The results revealed that, in general, the NH group exhibited shorter response times and larger P3 amplitudes relative to the NL and OL groups, wherein the OL group exhibited the longest response time in the incongruent condition. No group differences in N1 indices were also revealed. These findings suggest that the status of being both normal weight and having high cardiovascular fitness is associated with better behavioral and later stages of electrophysiological indices of cognitive function.
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