We would like to thank the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG021188) for their support of our research and the preparation of this manuscript.
Age, physical fitness, and attention: P3a and P3b
Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2009
Copyright © 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 379–387, March 2009
How to Cite
Pontifex, M. B., Hillman, C. H. and Polich, J. (2009), Age, physical fitness, and attention: P3a and P3b. Psychophysiology, 46: 379–387. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2008.00782.x
- Issue online: 11 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2009
- (Received April 29, 2008; Accepted July 1, 2008)
- Stimulus discrimination;
- Attentional orienting;
- Task difficulty;
The influence of age and fitness on the neuroelectric correlates of attentional orienting and processing during stimulus discrimination were investigated. Younger and older adult participants completed a maximal aerobic exercise test and were separated into higher- and lower-fit groups according to their cardiorespiratory fitness. Task performance and event-related potential measures were obtained during two- and three-stimulus oddball tasks. Results indicated that fitness may ameliorate or protect against cognitive aging for simple stimulus discriminations. Increases in task difficulty indicated that fitness may not be sufficient to overcome age-related deficits in stimulus discrimination. Further, fitness did not influence attentional orienting. The findings suggest that fitness-related changes in cognitive function may originate from other attentional mechanisms. Theoretical implications are discussed.