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Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 33–43 | Cite as

Effects of aerobic exercise on sad emotion regulation in young women: an electroencephalograph study

  • Ren-Jen HwangEmail author
  • Hsin-Ju Chen
  • Zhan-Xian Guo
  • Yu-Sheun Lee
  • Tai-Ying Liu
Research Article
  • 107 Downloads

Abstract

The effects of exercise on cognitive abilities have been studied. However, evidence regarding the neural substrates of sad emotion regulation is limited. Women have higher rates for affective disorders than men, but insufficient outcomes assess how aerobic exercises modulate central frontal activation in sad emotion inhibition and resilience among healthy women. This study investigated the effects of aerobic exercise-related brain activity on sad emotion inhibition processing in young women. Sad facial Go/No-Go and neutral Go/No-Go trials were conducted among 30 healthy young women to examine the changes in the N2 component, which reflects frontal inhibition responses, between pre-exercise and post-exercise periods. The first test was performed before aerobic exercise (baseline; 1st) and the second test was performed during an absolute rest period of 90 min after exercise. The sad No-Go stimuli that evoked N200 (N2) event-related potential were recorded and analyzed. The results showed that in the sad No-Go trials, N2 activation at the central-prefrontal cortex was significantly attenuated after exercise compared to the baseline N2 activation. Exercise-modulated N2 activation was not observed in the neutral No-Go trials. The behavioral error rates of sad No-Go trials did not differ between the two experiments. A reduced engagement of central-frontal activation to sad No-Go stimuli was shown after exercise. However, behavioral performance was consistent between the two measurements. The findings scope the benefits of the aerobic exercise on the neural efficiency in responding to sad emotion-eliciting cues as well as adaptive transitions reinstatement for regulatory capabilities in healthy young women.

Keywords

Exercise Go/No-Go Sad emotion regulation Brain EEG 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the 30 participants as well as CGUST for providing administrative support. The authors would like to thank L- F Ni, Y-J Yan for statistical counseling; Yu-Ling Shih for her assistance in make aerobic exercise session is adequate and En-Zi Lin, RA for her administration support. The study was funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (NSC 100-2410-H-255-005 -MY2; NSC 101-2629-B-255 -001 -MY2) and received financial assistance from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (BMRPC52).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NursingChang Gung University of Science and Technology (CGUST)Tao-YuanTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Nursing DepartmentChang Gung Memorial HospitalLinkouTaiwan
  3. 3.Center of Clinical Competency CenterChang Gung University of Science and Technology (CGUST)Tao-YuanTaiwan
  4. 4.China Medical University HospitalTaichung CityTaiwan
  5. 5.Science and Technology Policy Research and Information CenterNational Applied Research LaboratoriesTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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