Playing counter-strike versus running: The impact of leisure time activities and cortisol on intermediate-term memory in male students

Harald Kindermann, Andrija Javor, Martin Reuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The everyday life of students is characterized by hours of learning in order to pass exams. After learning they tend to opt for an occupation that provides them with a great deal of entertainment. It is obvious that it would be advantageous if the chosen activity had a positive impact on memory consolidation. Due to the circumstance that such activities can lead to stress and that memory is affected by stress we wanted to look at these coherences. We examined the effect of two different common leisure time activities on cortisol and memory to be able to formulate recommendations for society. For this purpose, a group was tested before and after playing a violent computer game while the second group was tested before and after running. In addition, a control group was set up. Salivary cortisol was measured at the beginning, during, and at the end of the experiment. Our data demonstrates that running increases cortisol levels and, performed immediately after a learning period, facilitates memorization of neutral information. In contrast, playing a violent computer game tends to impair memorization. The results of the present study have practical implications for the choice of recreational activities in the context of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCognitive Systems Research
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Computer games
  • Cortisol
  • Memory
  • Sports activities
  • Stress

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