Effects of exercise on working, short term, and semantic memory selfevaluation, and performance in young, and older adults

Aygun, Deniz

December 2018

Thesis or dissertation

© 2018 Deniz Aygun. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Studies have suggested that cognitive abilities decrease with age. However, research with young people have illustrated that young adults perform better on series of cognitive tests compared to older adults, demonstrating declining memory and cognition as a dominant feature of aging. One of the biggest factors that is found to have an effect on the brain is physical exercise, including benefits on health, wellbeing, and cognitive functions. Τhere is a limited number of researches that measure participants’ performance of cognitive capacity, in conjunction with physical activity status in younger and older adults and none for self-evaluation of cognitive capacity in conjunction with physical activity status.

The aim of study is to analyse the effects of exercise on self-evaluation and performance in memory functioning in young and old adults. Participants were assessed on several neuropsychological assessments on short-term memory, working memory and semantic memory.

The results indicated ageing and exercise effects in the performance of semantic memory and only aging effect on the self-evaluation of verbal short-term memory, perhaps, due to older adults’ over-pessimistic beliefs about their declining memory. Additionally, there were no associations between self-evaluations and performance levels, concluding that self-reported memory predictions not capturing actual memory status. Future studies need to be conducted to clarify the physical exercise effects.

School of Life Sciences, The University of Hull
Guerrini, Chiara; Pires, Luís; Abt, Grant
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