Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Carly Yadon


Sensory gating is a neurological process that filters out repetitive information from incoming sensory stimuli. Previous research suggests that exercise can alter cognitive functioning. Although there is an increasing amount of research in the field of exercise and cognition, there are still many important questions to answer. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between exercise and auditory sensory gating by examining whether sensory event-related potentials (ERPs) can be modified through exercise in similar ways that cognitive components are. After completing a baseline electroencephalogram (EEG) measuring sensory ERPs, 51 participants either underwent controlled exercise or participated in a rest condition. Exercise lasted for approximately twenty minutes while participants biked at 65-75% of their age-calculated maximum heart rate. Immediately after completing exercise (or rest), participants again completed the sensory gating paradigm. Results suggest that while exercise did not significantly alter P50 sensory gating abilities, other ERP measures were modified. For example, ERP latencies for the P50, N100, and P200 components all significantly decreased for the exercise group, but did not decrease for the rest group. In many cases, however, significant changes for the exercise group were also present for the rest group, indicating exercise was not the sole reason for these changes. These results indicate that some aspects of sensory ERPs may be modified through a single bout of exercise.


exercise, sensory gating, eeg, erp, latency, p50, n100, p200

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