Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
condition, cybercycling, participants, addition, flow
In the past decade there has been a strong desire to implement more enjoyable, interactive video game experiences to enhance an individual’s exercise performance. In addition, virtual reality exercise has been utilized to create a more pleasurable experience for older adults suffering from dementia. Best (2012) defined exergaming as, “a new generation of video games that stimulate a more active, whole-body gaming experience.” A recent study found that exergaming, when compared to stationary biking, can improve cognition among the older population suffering from cognitive decline (Anderson-Hanley et al., 2012). In addition, working memory training also leads to a significant improvement on tests of executive functioning (Chein and Morrison, 2010). The purpose of the current study was to determine whether combining exergaming with working memory training will enhance cognitive functioning more than each of these interventions separately. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: 1) Cybercycling (Low ACE), 2) Cycling with a Blank Screen, 5) Effortful Cybercycling (High ACE), 6) Working Memory Training, or 7) a videogame condition. Participants were given neuropsychological tests pre and post intervention, and were assigned to a 20 minute acute bout intervention. In addition, participants were given a Psychological Stress Measure (Tessier,R. et al., 1990) as well as a Flow Questionnaire post-intervention (Payne et al. 2012) to determine their overall mental state. There was no significant time by group interaction from any of the three measures: Trails 2, Stroop C, or Digit Span Backward. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the effortful cybercycling condition did not reveal great improvement on any of these tests. However, we did find that participants in the effortful cybercycling condition had higher stress levels and were less likely to reach a flow state when compared to the cybercycling condition. This could be due to the difficulty and nature of the task. However, increased participants in each condition are needed to determine whether there is a significant difference between these two groups.
Crowley, Shannon, "Neuropsychological Effects of Interactive Physical and Cognitive Exercise: Increasing the Mental Challenge" (2014). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 506.