Acute physical exercise can influence the accuracy of metacognitive judgments
AuthorsPalmer, Matthew A.
AffiliationUniversity of Tasmania, University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Sydney, University of Chester
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AbstractAcute exercise generally benefits memory but little research has examined how exercise affects metacognition (knowledge of memory performance). We show that a single bout of exercise can influence metacognition in paired-associate learning. Participants completed 30- min of moderate-intensity exercise before or after studying a series of word pairs (cloudivory), and completed cued-recall (cloud-?; Experiments 1 & 2) and recognition memory tests (cloud-? spoon; ivory; drill; choir; Experiment 2). Participants made judgments of learning prior to cued-recall tests (JOLs; predicted likelihood of recalling the second word of each pair when shown the first) and feeling-of-knowing judgments prior to recognition tests (FOK; predicted likelihood of recognizing the second word from four alternatives). Compared to noexercise control conditions, exercise before encoding enhanced cued-recall in Experiment 1 but not Experiment 2 and did not affect recognition. Exercise after encoding did not influence memory. In conditions where exercise did not benefit memory, it increased JOLs and FOK judgments relative to accuracy (Experiments 1 & 2) and impaired the relative accuracy of JOLs (ability to distinguish remembered from non-remembered items; Experiment 2). Acute exercise seems to signal likely remembering; this has implications for understanding the effects of exercise on metacognition, and for incorporating exercise into study routines.
CitationPalmer, M. A., Stefanidis, K., Turner, A., Tranent, P. J., Breen, R., Kucina, T., Brumby, L., Holt, G. A., Fell, J. W., & Sauer, J. D. (2019). Acute physical exercise can influence the accuracy of metacognitive judgments. Scientific Reports, 9, 12412.
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