Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Heath, M.


A 10-minute single-bout of moderate to very-heavy intensity aerobic exercise provides a boost to executive-related oculomotor control in young adults. Furthermore, some evidence shows that older adults (>65 years) can receive similar executive benefits post-exercise. It is, however, unclear if a specific exercise intensity can optimize executive function within this population. This represents an important question given that the population of older adults with executive dysfunction is expected to grow. To that end, this thesis had community-dwelling older adults perform a VO2peak test to determine 10-minute participant-specific moderate, heavy, and very-heavy exercise intensities. Pre- and post- exercise executive control was measured via the antisaccade task (i.e., goal-directed eye movement mirror symmetrical to visual stimulus). Results showed a 23 ms reduction in post-exercise antisaccade RTs – a finding that was intensity-independent. Accordingly, older adults accrue an executive benefit following 10 minutes of exercise across a continuum of moderate to very-heavy intensities.