Inthe article, The Effects of Exercise and Body Armor on Cognitive Functionin Healthy Volunteers written by Aaron P.J Roberts and Jon C. Cole, the authorsasses the relationship between exercise (and body armor) and working memory.
Theysuggest there is a cognitive effect of exercise and body armor, specifically onpolice officers. By gathering information and studies on police officers, itwas found that decision making was highly impacted by physiological arousalsuch as fear, frustration and aggression. the article suggests the relationshipbetween cognitive processes and physiological arousal is reciprocal, forexample, a study where brain areas that work with cognitive processes were stimulated,lead to changes in “attention, decision making and memory”.
Vis versa, when physiologicalarousal that results from exercise has shown to increase the processing speedas well as decrease the reaction time. This is because as the physical activityincreases, there is an increase in cortisol levels. This article outlines astudy carried out to determine how exercising wearing a body armor affectsworking memory. It is hypothesized that the physical demands will have an effecton their cognitive processes.
Inthis study, the independent variable is the physical tasks and the dependent variableis the tasks which testes working memory. The objective was to testparticipates of generating words beginning with certain letters. The articlesuggests verbal fluency was a multifactorial task that involves the use ofstorage and effective search processes, as well as using a digit backwardstest.
The results were as follows; the number generated increases from trial 1to trial 3, and trial 2 to trial 3 in Study one. According to the article, thisindicates wearing body armor and exercising affected cognitive processes in a beneficialway. In fact, Table l shows the high exercise intensity significantly increasedthe word production than the other conditions. However, wearing the body armorcondition had no significant main effect, indicating that wearing a body armorhas no impact in word production. There was also a nonsignificant trend betweentrend, body armor and exercise that was discovered which indicates that wearingbody armor and exercising increased in nonexecutive cognitive functioning.,meaning it was easier to produce words within the semantic realm rather than shiftto a new subcategory. For the digit backwards task, performance had increasedfrom trial 1 to trial 3 and from trial 2 to trial 3 for both of the studies. However,no main effect was observed for trials 1 to 2, exercising and body armor for bothstudies.
This indicates that executive functions increased, and according tothe article, it can be explained by the complexity of the task, which allowsthe participates to visually imagine and by doing so they are able to make thetasks easier. Thearticle concludes by stating that physical demands of either wearing an armoror exercising affects cognitive processes. When under high demand e.g. stress,physical demand, wearing armors, etc.. , nonexecutive processes increase tooptimize performance.
Based on the evidence found from this experiment, it isclear that the hypothesis was supported.