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Association of physical activity on memory interference: Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.

Abstract

Background : The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between habitual physical activity engagement on memory interference. The present analysis used cross-sectional data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (n=1,241; mean age= 57.2; 72.1% female). Methods : Physical activity was evaluated via self-report. Memory interference was evaluated using a word-list paradigm. The memory task included learning a list of 16 words (List A; 5 trials), followed by a distractor list (List B), and then an immediate recall of List A. Proactive interference occurs when preceding stimuli (e.g., Trial 1 and Trial 5 of List A) interferes with performance on a subsequent stimuli (List B). Retroactive interference occurs when subsequent stimuli (List B) interferes with the recall of previously encoded stimuli (Trial 5). Results : For proactive interference, there was no association between physical activity and the difference between performance on List B and Trial 1 of List A (β=0.00001; P =0.96). Similarly, for retroactive interference, there was no association between physical activity and the difference between the short delay recall and Trial 5 of List A (β=0.0002; P=0.50). Conclusion : The present study did not observe an association between habitual physical activity on attenuating memory interference.

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