Article review

Article Review: Regular

Physical Activity Improves

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Executive Function during Task

Switching in Young Adults

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The main research purpose was to ascertain the linkage between physical activity and enhancement of executive function in task switching among young adults. It was hypothesized that the weak and contradictory findings on the effects of physical activity on executive function in previous studies were due to shortcomings in methodologies. The study involved 40 student participants, 19 female and 21 male, aged 21.4 on average. Participants were deemed healthy before they were ranked as active or sedentary based on their level of involvement in physical activity using the IPAQ (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010).

Level of physical activity and task condition were the manipulated variables, while the rate of error and reaction time as well as the amplitude and latency of P3 and ERP trials per task were the measured variables. The collected data was statistically reduced for analyzing mixing effect and the switch effect by using the Mixed-Model ANOVA analysis technique (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010). The mixing effect analysis indicated strong group differences in mixed-task condition but larger P3 amplitude and latency for the pure-task condition.

The switch effect analysis revealed larger group differences in the sedentary group with the P3 component results indicating a main region effect (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010). Based on the study, the authors found a strong relationship between task level and level of executive function, and that the active group portrayed better executive function abilities. Hence, the conclusion that that executive function in young adults is selectively enhanced through our regular involvement in physical activity (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010).

In the author’s opinion, the conclusion of this research study is sufficiently justified. This assertion is grounded on a number of reasons. On the one hand, the conclusions of the study did not only answer the core research hypothesis but also conformed to the findings of studies, which had investigated the phenomenon previously. As an emphasis, the conclusion of this study was in line with those by Hillman et al., 2006; Scisco et al., 2008 which asserted a relationship between physical activity and the executive function of young adults engaged in task switching processes (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010).

In addition, justification to the conclusion of this research study is grounded on the fact that it is sufficiently drawn from the findings of the study. In other words, it flows directly from the results of the study. Other reasons for the justification of the research conclusion in this case include the evident conformity of the study with the underlying ethical and legal standards of psychology research studies. This can be evident in the use of informed consent, as well as in the selection of participants.

For example, the decision to use participants of relatively similar age significantly served as a measure for enhancing the reliability of the study results. This is true especially given that large age variations imply not only physical but also mental or intellectual function differences among individuals. In addition, gender consideration was effectively catered for in the study. As an emphasis, the study recruited participants were 19 females and 21 males and were on average aged 21.4 years (Kamijo & Takeda, 2010).

Reference

Kamijo, K & Takeda, T. (2010). Regular physical activity improves executive function during task switching in young adults. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 75, 304–311.