Authors:M. Jung, I. Brizes, S. Wages, P. Ponce, M. Kang and P.D. Loprinzi
No previous studies have evaluated the potential combined effects of acute exercise and acute hypoxia exposure on memory function, which was the purpose of this study. Twenty-five participants (Mage = 21.2 years) completed two laboratory visits in a counterbalanced order, involving 1) acute exercise (a 20-min bout of moderate-intensity exercise) and then 30 min of exposure to hypoxia (FIO2 = 0.12), and 2) exposure to hypoxia alone (FIO2 = 0.12) for 30 min. Following this, participants completed a cued-recall and memory interference task (AB/AC paradigm), assessing cued-recall memory (recall 1 and recall 2) and memory interference (proactive and retroactive interference). For cued-recall memory, we observed a significant main effect for condition, with Exercise + Hypoxia condition having significantly greater cued-recall performance than Hypoxia alone. Memory interference did not differ as a function of the experimental condition. This experiment demonstrates that engaging in an acute bout of exercise prior to acute hypoxia exposure had an additive effect in enhancing cued-recall memory performance.