Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Robert Petrella


Aging is associated with the increased onset of diseases such as cognitive impairment, and ultimately dementia. Participants, 55+ years, with a self-reported cognitive complaint completed a 6-month exercise intervention. They were randomized to either a multiple modality exercise program (M2), consisting of aerobic, stretching and balancing exercises or a multiple modality plus mind motor program (M4), whereby a square stepping exercise was incorporated. Participants were assessed for reaction time (RT), movement time (MT) and % errors at baseline and at 6-months using an eye tracking 1000 system. Participants performed prosaccades and antisaccades (AS). AS RT was significantly quicker from baseline – 6-months when M2 and M4 were collated p = 0.037. AS MT showed no significant difference from baseline – 6-months, p > 0.05. % Errors displayed no significant changes from baseline – 6-months, p > 0.05. No differences were seen between M2 and M4 groups for any of the sensorimotor outcomes examined. This study elucidates the impact of an exercise intervention on sensorimotor functioning through improvements in AS RT, however no differences were seen between groups. A multiple-modality exercise intervention can be seen to attenuate cognitive decline in older adults with a self-reported cognitive complaint.