Previous work suggests that acute exercise may enhance episodic memory function. However, no study has evaluated whether acute exercise can enhance source memory recognition, which was the purpose of this study. A two-arm, parallel-group randomized controlled intervention was employed. The experimental group walked briskly for 15 minutes with a 5-minute seated recovery task (Sudoku), while the control group engaged in a time-matched (20-min) seated task (Sudoku). Subsequently, participants completed a source episodic memory task. The experimental group recalled more words than the control group (M = 6.35, SD = 2.99 and M = 5.30, SD = 2.83, respectively; P=0.26, d=0.36). However, there were no differences in performance on the source memory recognition task (discrimination index, -0.20 vs. 1.50, t=0.64, P=0.52, d=0.20). Our results provide some evidence of non-statistically small magnitude of an exercise-induced enhancement effect on episodic memory, but our findings did not suggest a beneficial source memory effect from acute exercise.
cognition; declarative memory; physical activity; source monitoring