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Acute psychosocial stress and working memory performance : the potential of physical activity to modulate cognitive functions in children

Acute psychosocial stress and working memory performance : the potential of physical activity to modulate cognitive functions in children

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WUNSCH, Kathrin, Maria MEIER, Lea UEBERHOLZ, Jana STRAHLER, Nadine KASTEN, 2019. Acute psychosocial stress and working memory performance : the potential of physical activity to modulate cognitive functions in children. In: BMC Pediatrics. 19(1), 271. eISSN 1471-2431. Available under: doi: 10.1186/s12887-019-1637-x

@article{Wunsch2019-08-05Acute-47388, title={Acute psychosocial stress and working memory performance : the potential of physical activity to modulate cognitive functions in children}, year={2019}, doi={10.1186/s12887-019-1637-x}, number={1}, volume={19}, journal={BMC Pediatrics}, author={Wunsch, Kathrin and Meier, Maria and Ueberholz, Lea and Strahler, Jana and Kasten, Nadine}, note={Article Number: 271} }

2019-08-05 Wunsch, Kathrin terms-of-use Strahler, Jana Kasten, Nadine eng Ueberholz, Lea 2019-11-07T13:40:35Z Meier, Maria Acute psychosocial stress and working memory performance : the potential of physical activity to modulate cognitive functions in children Wunsch, Kathrin Background<br />Research suggests that physical activity (PA) enhances cognitive performance and prevents stress-related impairments of higher order cognitive functions like working memory (WM) performance. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of PA on WM performance after acute stress exposure in preadolescent children.<br /><br />Methods<br />Regular PA was assessed for seven consecutive days during a typical school week using accelerometers in a sample of 44 preadolescent children (14 girls, M<sub>age</sub> = 11.29 years, SD<sub>age</sub> = 0.67). Following this period, participants performed an automated operational span (OSPAN) task immediately after being exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C).<br /><br />Results<br />Children exhibited prototypical response slopes in salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase as markers of the endocrine and autonomic stress response immediately after psychosocial stress induction. A subsequent two-way ANOVA comparing high- and low-stress responders revealed a significant interaction between group affiliation and PA level on WM performance for both stress markers. Interestingly, best WM performance was demonstrated in children showing both high PA levels and high cortisol (or low α-amylase, respectively) stress responses.<br /><br />Conclusions<br />Though patterns differed for salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase, overall findings suggest that PA buffers the negative effects of stress on cognitive performance in children. Kasten, Nadine Strahler, Jana Meier, Maria 2019-11-07T13:40:35Z Ueberholz, Lea

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