The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between a field test assessing aerobic capacity (namely, the 12 minute-walk/run test, 12m-WRT) and the performance of students of distinct school-grade levels at two different working memory (WM)-related tasks. Forty participants (21 males, 19 females, mean age 19.18 ± 6.18 years, range 10-24) have been assessed using the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) as WM measures, and a walk/run test of 12 minutes to indirectly measure the aerobic capacity (VO2max). We found significant correlations between VO2max and PASAT and between VO2max and SDMT. Two different trends were identified in relation to the individual level of formal education. In particular, aerobic fitness showed higher predictive values on WM performance when investigated with PASAT in primary and secondary school students, whilst increasing predictive values of physical condition on SDMT's scores were observed with the progressing of students’ school career, reaching maximal values in university students. No significant correlations were observed between age and the cognitive tests, nor between age and VO2max. The present findings suggest that the 12m-WRT is associated with WM performance, showing different correlation with PASAT and SDMT according to the school-grade level. This might be due to the different effects that aerobic fitness has on specific neural substrates during development and opens avenues to research new tools able to monitor the health of the brain in young subjects.
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|Titolo:||Is the 12 minute-walk/run test a predictive index of cognitive fitness in young healthy individuals? A pilot study on aerobic capacity and working memory in a real-life scenario|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|