Acute Aerobic Exercise and Creative Thinking; Comparison between Transient Hypofrontality State and Strength Model of Self-Control’s Predictions

Oral Presentation
Paper ID : 1201-12THCONG
Oral / Poster Presentation File: 1201-12THCONG.7z 
1Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Humanities, Kurdistan University, Sanandaj
2German Sport University, Cologne, Germany
Transient hypofrontality thesis (THT) states that temporary lower prefrontal activity during exercise increases creative thinking (Dietrich, 2004). Contrary to THT, strength model of self-control (SMSC) believes that depletion of the self-control resources during exercise decreases the creative thinking (Baumeister, et al., 1998). Investigating whether the divergent and convergent creative thinking are influenced by different intensity of the aerobic acute exercises, we aimed to give a comparative account of predictions of THT and SMSC on acute exercise-induced changes of divergent and convergent creative thinking. 93 Healthy male students (age =21.18 ±1.73 years) were randomly assigned to anaerobic threshold (ATG, %85 HRmax, n=31), low intensity (LIG, %45HRmax, n=31), and control (CG, n=31) groups. Participants performed divergent (Alternate Uses Task) and convergent (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test) creative thinking tasks before, during and after cessation of two anaerobic thresholds (85% HRmax) and low (45% HRmax) intensities of acute exercise. The results showed that, for AT and LI groups, the performance of the divergent thinking was higher than the control group. This means that, the divergent creative process might be improved through the acute exercise. This effect was greater for the AT than LI group. On the one hand, for divergent thinking, improvement of performances of flexibility and fluency during and after the cessation of acute exercise in AT and LI groups was consistent with the THT and inconsistent with the SMSC predictions. On the other hand, drop of convergent creative process during the exercise in AT intensity was consistent with both the THT and SMSC predictions. In addition, permanence of drop of convergent creative process after the cessation of exercise was inconsistent with the THT, but consistent with the SMSC predictions. The findings suggest that the SMSC, besides THT, can be used as an appropriate explanation for acute exercise-creative processes relationship.