Single bouts of aerobic exercise can modulate cortical excitability and executive cognitive function, but less is known about the effect of light-intensity exercise, an intensity of exercise more achievable for certain clinical populations. Fourteen healthy adults (aged 22 to 30) completed the following study procedures twice (≥7 days apart) before and after 30 min of either light aerobic exercise (cycling) or seated rest: neurocognitive battery (multitasking performance, inhibitory control and spatial working memory), paired-pulse TMS measures of cortical excitability. Significant improvements in response times during multitasking performance and increases in intracortical facilitation (ICF) were seen following light aerobic exercise. Light aerobic exercise can modulate cortical excitability and some executive function tasks. Populations with deficits in multitasking ability may benefit from this intervention.
- cortical excitability
- executive function