Statistical Learning Is Not Affected by a Prior Bout of Physical Exercise

David J. Stevens, Joanne Arciuli, David I. Anderson

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This study examined the effect of a prior bout of exercise on implicit cognition. Specifically, we examined whether a prior bout of moderate intensity exercise affected performance on a statistical learning task in healthy adults. A total of 42 participants were allocated to one of three conditions-a control group, a group that exercised for 15 min prior to the statistical learning task, and a group that exercised for 30 min prior to the statistical learning task. The participants in the exercise groups cycled at 60% of their respective V˙O2max. Each group demonstrated significant statistical learning, with similar levels of learning among the three groups. Contrary to previous research that has shown that a prior bout of exercise can affect performance on explicit cognitive tasks, the results of the current study suggest that the physiological stress induced by moderate-intensity exercise does not affect implicit cognition as measured by statistical learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1018
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Exercise
  • Implicit learning
  • Incidental learning
  • Physical activity
  • Statistical learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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