Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Cay Anderson-Hanley




exercise, cognition, video games, research, study


Several meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCT) have shown exercise to improve cognitive function in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia (Colcombe & Kramer, 2003, O’ Leary et al., 2011). Cognitive benefit from mental exercise alone is less definitive. A recent RCT (Anderson-Hanley et al., 2012) found greater benefit from three months of virtual-reality enhanced exercise than physical exercise alone among 79 independent living older adults. The current study aimed to replicate this work. In this study, six seniors that either lived or worked at Schaffer Heights were enrolled in the study. Participants were randomized into one of two conditions for three months: mental exercise (videogame only) or interactive mental and physical exercise (videogame controlled by pedaling). It has been hypothesized that simultaneous interactive mental and physical exercise will yield greater cognitive benefits than mental exercise alone. This report documents enrollee characteristics, which revealed great variability among participants. This report also documents the feasibility of methodology and splitting apart interactive mental and physical exercise. Additional time is needed in order to see any trend in the data, as this report only examines the first portion of the three month long intervention. Future research is needed to build upon this pilot work in order to test the data and methodology among the greater older adult population.