Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Advisor 1

Carolyn A. Duncan

Advisor 2

Steven J. Elmer

Committee Member 1

Kevin M. Trewartha

Committee Member 2

Erich J. Petushek


Executive function performance following acute aerobic exercise can be influenced by multiple variables. However, little is known about the lasting effects of these exercise-induced changes. This study aimed to determine the extent to which exercise intensity impacts executive function. 14 young endurance-trained adults (5 female, 9 male) performed an Eriksen flanker task before and immediately after running high-intensity until failure and isochronal moderate-intensity (~12 min). Pre- to post-exercise-induced changes in reaction time (ms), accuracy (%), and self-reported mental effort (1-9 rating) were analyzed by overall tasks and through tasks subsections. Results showed improvement in reaction time following high- and moderate-intensity exercise, while only high-intensity suggested transient accuracy impairment alongside an increased self-reported mental effort. The main findings of this study indicated that high-intensity exercise-induced changes occurred within the 2 first min in the flanker task. Implications of this study might relate to contexts combining simultaneously physiological arousal and higher-order cognitive demands.