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Compelling evidence supports an association between the attribute of aerobic fitness and achievement scores on standardized tests of reading. However, such standardized assessments provide only a broad valuation of a complex network of language related sub-processes that contribute to reading and are heavily confounded by other attention-related processes. The present investigation sought to clarify the nature of the association between aerobic fitness and language processing in a sample of college-aged adults. Participants were bifurcated based on aerobic fitness level and on a separate day were asked to complete a lexical decision task while neuroelectric activity was recorded. Analysis of word-level language-related ERP components revealed no fitness differences. However, lower aerobically-fit individuals elicited smaller amplitude for attention-related ERP components relative to the higher aerobically-fit group. These data provide initial evidence to suggest that fitness-related differences in reading achievement may result from attentional processes rather than acting upon specific language-related processes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Brain and language
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