Impact of an active life-style on emotional memory




sport activity, memory, emotions, modulation


Aerobic and resistance exercise has been related to phys­i­cal health promotion, besides in the last years its effects at a cognitive level has been investigated. Based on that, the aim of the current work was to evaluate the possible effect of having an active life style on emotional memory. Forty-eight adults of early and middle age par­ticipated (range: 18-58 years old) who complete a report through the Inter­national Physical Activity Questionnaire about the amount and type of physical activity performed in a typical or reg­ular week, i.e. a week sustained in the last three months of their lives. To evaluate emotional memory participants watched positive, negative and neu­tral images selected from the International Affective Picture System. Then, how many images they recall and recognize was evaluated (immediate and deferred measures). Participants that had a high level of physical activity in their lives remember immediately more posi­tive images than those participants with a low or moder­ate level of activity. Besides, this group obtained better results in the immediate recognition measure. Thus, in­corporate physical activity as a life style shows benefits in the emotional positive memory.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Maximiliano Bossio, Lab. Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia Cognitiva LINC CEMSC3 ECyT UNSAM Universidad de Buernos Aires

Nadia Justel, Lab. Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia Cognitiva (LINC) CEMSC3, ECyT, UNSAM, CONICET


Albinet, C. T., Abou-Dest, A., André, N. y Audiffren, M. (2016). Executive Functions Improvement Following a 5-month Aquaerobics Program in Older Adults: Role of Cardiac Vagal Control in Inhibition Performance. Biological Psychology, 115, 69-77.

Barha, C., Falck, R., Davis, J., Nagamatsu, L. y Liu-Ambrose, T. (2017). Sex Differences in Aerobic Exercise Efficacy to Improve Cognition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies in Older Rodents. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 46, 86–105.

Bermúdez-Rattoni, F. y Prado-Alcalá, R. (2001). Memoria. ¿En dónde está y cómo se forma? [Where is it and How is it Formed?] México: Trillas.

Cahill, L., Gorski, L. y Le, K. (2003). Stress: Interaction with the Degree of Arousal at Encoding Enhanced Human Memory Consolidation with Post-Learning. Learning y Memory, 10, 270-274.

Chang, Y. K., Chi, L., Etnier, J. L., Wang, C. C., Chu, C. H. y Zhou, C. (2014). Effect of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Cognitive Performance: Role of Cardiovascular Fitness. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(5), 464-470.

Chen, A. G., Yan, J., Yin, H. C., Pan, C. Y. y Chang Y. K. (2014). Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Multiple Aspects of Executive Function in Preadolescent Children. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(6), 627-636.

Colcombe, S. J., Erickson, K., Scalf, P. E., Kim, J. S., Prakash, R., McAuley, E., … Kramer, A. F. (2006). Aerobic Exercise Training Increases Brain Volume in Aging Humans. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61, 1166–1170.

Cordon, I., Melinder, A., Goodman, G. y Edelstein, R. (2013). Children’s and Adults’ Memory for Emotional Pictures: Examining Age-Related Patterns Using the Developmental Affective Photo System. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114(2), 339-356.

Craig, C. L., Marshall, A. L., Sjöström, M., Bauman, A. E., Booth, M. L., Ainsworth, B. E., … Oja, P. (2003). International Physical Activity Questionnaire: 12-Country Reliability and Validity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(8), 1381-1395.

Erickson, K., Prakash, R. S., Voss, M. W., Chaddock, L., Hu, L., Morris, K. S., … Kramer, A. F. (2009). Aerobic Fitness is Associated with Hippocampal Volume in Elderly Humans. Hippocampus, 19, 1030– 10.1002/hipo.20547

Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., Chaddock, L. Kramer, A. (2011). Exercise Training increases Size of Hippocampus and Improves memory. Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(7), 3017-3022.

Fallah, N., Hsu, C., Bolandzadeh, N., Davis, J., Beattie, L., Graf, P. y Liu-Ambrose, T. (2013). A Multistate Model of Cognitive Dynamics in Relation to Resistance Training: The Contribution of Baseline Function. Annals of Epidemiology, 23, 463-468.

Hämmerer, D., Hopkins, A., Betts, M. J., Maaß, A., Dolan, R. J. y Düzel, E. (2017). Emotional Arousal and Recognition Memory are Differentially Reflected in Pupil Diameter Responses during Emotional Memory for Negative Events in Younger and Older Adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 58, 129-139.

Hayes, S. M., Forman, D. E. y Verfaellie, M. (2014). Cardiorespiratory Fitness is Associated with Cognitive Performance in Older but not Younger Adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 71(3), 474-482.

Hogan, C. L., Mata, J. y Carstensen L. L. (2013). Exercise Holds Immediate Benefits for Affect and Cognition in Younger and Older Adults. Psychology and Aging, 28(2), 587-594.

Honea R. A., Thomas, G. P., Harsha, A., Anderson, H. S., Donnelly, J. E., Brooks, W. M. y Burns, J. M. (2009). Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Preserved Medial Temporal Lobe Volume in Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 23,188-197.

Hwang, J., Brothers, R. M., Castelli, D. M., Glowacki, E. M., Chen, Y. T., Salinas, M., … Calvert, H. G. (2016). Acute High-Intensity Exercise-Induced Cognitive Enhancement and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in young, Healthy Adults. Neuroscience Letters, 630, 247-253.

IPAQ Research Committee (2005). International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) scoring protocol. Recuperado de http:// (accessed 01.05.13).

Iuliano, E., di Cagno, A., Aquino, G., Fiorilli, G., Mignogna, P., Calcagno, G. y Di Costanzo, A. (2016). Effects of Different Types of Physical Activity on the Cognitive Functions and Attention in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Study. Experimental Gerontology.

Jäger, K., Schmidt, M., Conzelmann, A. y Roebers, C. M. (2015). The effects of Qualitatively Different Acute Physical Activity Interventions in Real-World Settings on Executive Functions in Preadolescent Children. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 9, 1-9.

Justel, N., Psyrdellis, M. y Ruetti, E. (2014). Evaluación y modulación de la memoria emocional: Un estudio preliminar [Evaluation and Modulation of Emotional Memory: A Preliminary Study]. Anuario de Investigaciones de la Facultad de Psicología, XX, 365-368.

Keyan, D. y Bryant, R. A. (2017a). Acute Physical exercise in Humans Enhances Reconsolidation of Emotional Memories. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 77, 150-157.

Keyan, D. y Bryant, R. A. (2017b). Brief Exercise Enhances Intrusive Memories of Traumatic Stimuli. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 141, 9-13.

Keyan, D. y Bryant, R. A. (2017c). Role of BDNF val66met polymorphism in modulating exercised-induced emotional memories. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 77, 150–157.

Kimura, K. y Hozumi, N. (2012). Investigating the acute effect of an aerobic dance exercise program on neuro-cognitive function in the elderly. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13(5), 623-629. 10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.04.001

Labelle, V., Bosquet, L., Mekary, S. y Bherer, L. (2013). Decline in executive control during acute bouts of exercise as a function of exercise intensity and fitness level. Brain and Cognition, 81(1), 10–17.

Lang, P. J., Bradley, M. M. y Cuthbert, B. N. (1995). International affective picture system (IAPS): affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. Technical Report A-6. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida.

Lee, T. M. C., Wong, M. L., Lau, B. W. M., Lee, J. C. D., Yau, S. Y. y So, K. F. (2014). Aerobic exercise interacts with neurotrophic factors to predict cognitive functioning in adolescents. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 39(1), 214-224.

Masley, S., Roetzheim, R. y Gualtieri, T. (2009). Aerobic exercise enhances cognitive flexibility. Journal of Clinical Psychology and Medical Settings, 16, 186-193.

McGaugh, J.L. y Roozendaal, B. (2002). Role of adrenal stress hormones in forming lasting memories in the brain. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 12(2), 205-210.

McGaugh, J.L. y Roozendaal, B. (2009). Emotional hormones and memory modulation. Encyclopedia of neuroscience, 933-940.

Middleton, L. E., Barnes, D. E., Lui, L. Y. y Yaffe, K. (2010). Physical activity over the life course and its association with cognitive performance and impairment in old age. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(7), 1322e6.

Moayeri, S., Cahill, l., Jin, I. y Potkin, S. (2010). Relative sparing of emotionally influenced memory in Alzheimer's disease. Neuroreport, 11(4), 653-655.

Ratey J. J. y Loehr J. E. (2011). The positive impact of physical activity on cognition during adulthood: a review of underlying mechanisms, evidence and recommendations. Reviews of Neuroscience, 22(2), 171e85.

Roozendaal, B. (2000). Glucocorticoids and the regulation of memory consolidation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 25(3), 213-238. doi: 10.1016/S0306-4530(99)00058-X

Ruetti, E., Justel, N. y Bentosela, M. (2009). Perspectivas clásicas y contemporáneas acerca de la memoria [Classic and contemporary perspectives on memory]. Suma Psicológica, 16(1), 65-83.

Schümann, D., Bayer, J., Talmi, D. y Sommer, T. (2018). Dissociation of immediate and delayed effects of emotional on episodic memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 148, 11-19.

Soga, K., Shishido, T. y Nagatomi, R. (2015). Executive function during and after acute moderate aerobic exercise in adolescents. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16(P3), 7-17.

Squire, L. R. (1987). Memory and Brain. New York: Oxford University Press.

Taylor, V., Ellenbogen, M., Washburn, D. y Joober, R. (2011). The effects of glucocorticoids on the inhibition of emotional information: A dose–response study. Biological Psychology, 86(1), 17-25.

Tsai, C. L., Chen, F. C., Pan, C. Y., Wang, C. H., Huang, T. H. y Chen, T. C. (2014). Impact of acute aerobic exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness on visuospatial attention performance and serum BDNF levels. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 45, 121-131.

Tsai, C. L., Pan, C. Y., Chen, F. C., Wang, C. H. y Chou, F. Y. (2016). Effects of acute aerobic exercise on a task-switching protocol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations in young adults with different levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Experimental Physiology, 101(7), 836-850.

Tulving, E. (2002). Episodic memory: from mind to brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 1-25.

Van Praag, H., Shubert, T., Zhao, C. y Gage, F. H. (2005). Exercise enhances learning and hippocampal neurogenesis in aged mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 8680–8685.

Weinberg, L., Hasni, A., Shinohara, M. y Duarte, A. (2014). A single bout of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance. Acta Psychologica, 153, 13-19.

Wengaard, E., Kristoffersen, M., Harris, A. y Gundersen, H. (2017). Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with selective attention in healthy male high-school students. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 330.

Yu, Q., Chan, C. C. H., Chau, B. y Fu, A. S. N. (2017). Motor skill experience modulates executive control for task switching. Acta Psychologica, 180, 88–97.



How to Cite

Bossio, M., & Justel, N. (2018). Impact of an active life-style on emotional memory. Acción Psicológica, 15(1), 39–56.



Artículos de temática libre [Selection of articles]