Chapter 13

For each term below, first note how you would define the term. Then, click on the arrow to reveal the book’s definition.


A key feature of event-related potential that measures whether the potential deflects up or down.


The formation of new capillaries, the stimulation of which is exercise dependent.

Attentional network

The neural circuitry involved in various aspects of executive control processes.

Attentional resources

The amount of brain activity needed to attend to a task and to update memory.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)

A protein that is essential for hippocampal function, synaptic plasticity and adaptability, and learning.

Cardiovascular fitness hypothesis

The idea that some measure of cardiovascular fitness improvement is needed for improvements in cognitive function to take place.

Cerebrovascular reserve hypothesis

Posits that enhanced cognitive function is mediated by better circulation in the brain itself; this is manifested as better cerebral blood flow and more blood in brain tissues in the resting state, coupled with an enhanced ability to respond to stimuli, both at rest and during and following acute exercise

Cognitive function

The ability to concentrate or divide one’s attention among several things, to learn and remember, to make a plan of action and effectively execute that plan, to self-regulate activities, to recognize objects or things, to evaluate, to construct in one’s mind, and to think logically and solve problems.

Error-related negativity (ERN)

A psychophysiological index of the evaluation and self-monitoring of one’s own actions.

Event-related potential (ERP)

A brain response evoked by some type of stimulus.

Executive control

Refers to processes that control cognitive functions oriented toward goal-directed behavior.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

A special type of MRI that provides a specific and detailed picture of brain activity, based on neuronal activity and the subsequent metabolism and blood flow changes in brain tissue, in almost real time.

Interference control

An individual’s ability to deal with distractions.


A measure of the speed with which a stimulus is classified.


Cell proliferation and differentiation.


Imaging techniques that provide information regarding how the cognitive processing of information occurs within the central nervous system.

P300 (P3)

A component of event-related potential, a positive-going waveform that occurs approximately 300 milliseconds after a stimulus is presented, thought to reflect the allocation of attentional resources.

Response inhibition

Withholding a response rather than making one.

Selective improvement hypothesis

The idea that although exercise results in improved cardiorespiratory fitness, the improvements are selective as opposed to generalized.


The ability to stop or abort a preprogrammed action.

Stopping task

A task that requires the suppression of a response to a specific stimulus.

Synaptic plasticity

The ability of the connections between neurons to change in strength.

Task switching

A behavioral measure of the “cost” of switching between two different tasks.

Working memory

The ability to hold relevant information in one’s mind for relatively short periods of time.