Determining whether tennis benefits the updating function in young children: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study


This study aimed at investigating the behavioral and neuro-electrical impacts of a coordinative exercise intervention on the updating function of the working memory (WM) in young children. Children in the experimental group was tested on the 1-back working memory task before and after a coordinative exercise program that involved a 60 min session twice per week for eight weeks (totally 16 sessions), while the control group underwent routine classroom activities with the same WM tests. The results showed that the hit rates of performing the 1-back task increased significantly in the experimental group compared with that of the control group. The experimental group demonstrated a larger decrease in both reaction time and false alarm rates from pre-test to post-test than the control group. Physical fitness improved after exercise intervention in the experimental group. Neural adaptations due to the exercise training were evaluated using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and the results indicated that the experimental group experienced a greater cortical oxygenated hemoglobin (Oxy-Hb) increase in the prefrontal area after the intervention than the control group. These results suggest that coordinative exercises are beneficial for improving WM as well as reaction time and physical fitness in young children.

Applied Sciences (Switzerland)