Adam W. – BASIS Flagstaff

BASIS Flagstaff Senior Adam  W.

The Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Working Memory

Project/blog link: The Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Working Memory
BASIS Advisor: Sheri Jordan
Internship location: Northern Arizona University
Onsite Mentor: Melissa Birkett, PhD, Associate Professor

Project Abstract

The brain is one of the most mysterious organs in the body, as every question we answer about it presents many new opportunities for investigation. One of the more commonly asked questions is: how can we improve brain functionality in novel ways? One of those ways is to improve working memory-- our ability to store and process information in a short time period. Exercise is well-known to have great positive effects on the body and it might be a key way of unlocking our working memory potential. This research explores this possibility through the use of a digit-span test which can gauge just how well a person uses their working memory. The digit-span test involves giving a subject a list of digits to memorize and recite back to the researcher. Conducting this test immediately before and after an hour-long exercise session can give us an idea of just how working memory is affected, specifically whether it can process information quicker, more accurately, or for longer periods of time as a result of aerobic exercise.

The Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Working Memory