General physical activity levels influence positive and negative priming effects in young adults

Keita Kamijo*, Yuji Takeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the relationship between general physical activity level and the cognitive functions of executive control in young adults using behavioral measures and event-related brain potentials. Methods: Forty young adults (mean age = 21.1 yrs; 19 females) were differentiated on the basis of their regular physical activity level into two groups: active and sedentary. They performed a spatial priming task consisting of three conditions: control, positive, and negative priming. Spatial priming effects, which are related to executive control and occur automatically, were assessed as indicators of cognitive functioning. Results: Negative priming effects on reaction time and P3 latency in the active group were larger than in the sedentary group. By contrast, positive priming effects were only observed in the sedentary group. Conclusions: The cognitive effects of regular physical activity could be observed using a relatively simple paradigm. The results indicate that regular physical activity has a beneficial effect on the cognitive processes on executive control in young adults. Significance: The present study provides additional evidence of the beneficial effects of regular physical activity on cognitive functioning in young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-519
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive function
  • Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
  • Executive control
  • Physical activity
  • Positive and negative priming
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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