A distributional analysis of the effect of physical exercise on a choice reaction time task


  • Davranche Karen
  • Audiffren Michel
  • Denjean André


  • Reaction time distributions
  • Time on task
  • Information processing
  • Sub-maximal exercise
  • Energetic factor
  • Facilitating effect

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The aim of this study was to examine the facilitating effects of physical exercise on the reaction process. Eleven participants with specific expertise in decision-making sports performed a choice reaction time task during moderate sub-maximal exercise (90% of their ventilatory threshold power). Participants were tested at rest and while cycling. During exercise, the participants were faster, without being more variable. We suggest that the effect of exercise on cognitive performance was due to a major generalized improvement of the whole distribution of response time and, although the benefit effect was small, it was consistent throughout the entire range of reaction times.

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