The effects of acute moderate and high intensity exercise on memory

DAVID MARCHANT, Lucy Finnigan, Sophie Hampson, KELLY MARRIN, Craig Thorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Acute cardiovascular exercise can enhance correct remembering but its impact upon false remembering is less clear. In two experiments, we investigated the effect of acute bouts of exercise on correct and false remembering using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) memory test. In Experiment 1, healthy adults completed quiet rest or moderate intensity cycling prior to the memory test. In Experiment 2, a similar sample completed moderate intensity running, high intensity sprints, or a period of quiet rest prior to the memory test. In Experiment 1, acute moderate intensity exercise increased short-term correct, but not false, recall. Experiment 2 replicated these findings but also found an acute bout of high intensity exercise had no impact upon either type of recall. Acute moderate intensity exercise, but not acute high intensity exercise, can improve short-term correct recall without an accompanying increase in false recall potentially through processing of contextually specific information during encoding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1716
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Early online date14 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2020


  • Acute Exercise
  • exercise intensity
  • Cognition
  • Recall
  • recognition
  • false memory
  • cognition
  • recall
  • acute exercise


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