Interventions for cognitive and psychosocial functioning in older adults: A comparison of aerobic exercise and cognitive training
AuthorGlisky, Martha Louise, 1965-
AdvisorKaszniak, Alfred W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere is general agreement that biological aging is accompanied by some physiological and cognitive declines. However, there is considerable variability in the nature and rate of such declines. Recently, investigators have begun to consider an individual differences approach to examine factors, other than age, that may account for age-related variance in cognitive functioning. Activity levels have been suggested as one factor that may mediate cognitive changes with age. The current study attempts to employ both aerobic and cognitive activity as interventions, with a group of older adults, to examine whether such interventions can improve cognitive performance or prevent further decline. A total of 54 participants (aged 66-96 years old), engaged in either an aerobic exercise class, a cognitive training class, or a non-intervention control group. Individuals in the treatment groups met three times per week, for one-hour classes, which lasted for 16 weeks. They were administered a battery of cognitive tasks, including memory recall, verbal fluency, and working memory/span measures, as well as questionnaires tapping mood and well-being. Following the intervention period, both the aerobic group and the cognitive group showed improvements on measures of verbal fluency. In addition, the cognitive group evidenced significant improvements on measures of memory recall and the aerobic group showed a decrease in negative affect. The control demonstrated a significant decline in both memory recall and verbal fluency. The results are discussed in terms of the possible mechanisms involved in producing these changes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College