Sciences and Mathematics, College of
Psychological Science, Department of
BURS Faculty Advisor
Dr. Timothy Schoenfeld
Cognitive flexibility is an integral aspect of functioning that aids humans in adapting and finding solutions to complex problems. The cognitive effects of exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, have been linked to improved cognitive flexibility, executive function, and neurogenesis. More research is needed to assess the effects of short-term exercise on cognitive flexibility as most studies have assessed the effects of chronic exercise on cognitive flexibility. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exercise on cognitive flexibility in a rodent model using a modified attentional set-shifting task on a radial arm maze. We used a modified set-shifting task where a certain color was associated with a reward or lack there of. Four random arms were baited, and the rat would have to eat all four rewards within a 5-minute time frame to complete the task. We recorded the amount of short-term and long-term errors made on the task. The color associations were swapped, meaning the color that signified reward now signified no reward and vice versa. Additionally, at this time, a 30 minute period of acute exercise prior to the trial was introduced. This study further addresses the gap in research on acute exercise and the integral effects of exercise on cognitive flexibility.
Akande, Toni; Campbell, Savannah; Cooke, Katie; Curtis, Summer; Dahm, Jess; Niesen, Zoe; Wachtel, Andrew; and Young, Katie, "Influence of Exercise in a Rodent Spacial Model of Cognitive Flexibility" (2023). Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS). 283.