Standard picture questionnaires were given for short-term memory test, which the participants studied for the max amount of time of two minutes. For the long-term memory test, the participants were asked a day later to recall the images from the previous day. The results showed a significant difference between long-term and short-term memory in athletes and non-athletes. In conclusion, athletes performed substantially better in both long-term and short-term memory tests. This proves that regular exercise not only gives way to a healthier lifestyle, but also improves memory function in the brain.
Memory is the procedure in which information is programmed, stocked, and recovered. Programmed information from the outside world reaches our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. During the first stage, we must change the programmed information to put it through the encoding process. Short-term memories can be encoded as images, but more often than not they are encoded by sound (phonetically). Storage (memory that is stocked in our minds) is the next step in memory development. This allows us to remember events and details overtime.
Finally, during the third process or minds recover this information, locate it and restore it to our consciousness (Saha, Halder & Das, 2013). Due to types of information, some retrieval attempts may be effortless. Different forms of memory are documented, including working, sensory, short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory is referred to as the memory system used to hold small amounts of informational for a brief amount of time (Dennis & Mitterer, 2011). We are consciously aware of short-term memories for a dozen seconds or so (Jonides et al. , 2008).
Through repetition information can be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory. Long-term memory refers to the memory system used for relatively permanent storage of meaningful or important information (Dennis & Mitterer, 2011). Memory is an important study for further advancement in understanding the brain. Many studies have been conducted to analysis how physical exercises affect the brain in different ways. Physical exercise, particularly continuous aerobic exercises such as running, cycling and swimming, has many cognitive benefits and effects on the brain (Wikipedia, 2013).
According to a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions (Tomporoski, 2003). The usage of physical activity enhances your probability of increasing cognitive functions with limitations, such as the time and style of your exercise. Athletes are more likely to have an enhanced short and long-term memory due to their continuous exercising, with activities with a psychical and mental demand.
Therefore, the main object of this experiment was to compare the long-term and short-term memory of athletes and non-athletes to test this theory. LITERATURE REVIEW In the comparative study by Gopal Saha, Shantanu Halder and Pulen Das they conducted a comparative study of Long-term and short-term memory between athletes and non-athletes. In their study, they used one hundred college boys, 50 that were athletically involved and 50 that were non-athletes whose age ranged from 22 to 25. Only long-term and short-term memory was measured, and two standard questionnaires were given to the subjects.
The first questionnaire measured short-term memory, the other measured long-term memory. L. T. M. scale finds out the effect of rehearsal of paired- associates on the long-term memory of the subject when tested after two minutes of interpolated task. Higher percentage of recall indicates better performance and lower percentage indicates poor performance (Saha, Halder & Das, 2013). Short-term memory scale studies the effect of different time intervals and association values on short-term recall. Higher percentage of recall indicates better performance and lower percentage indicates poor performance (Saha, Halder & Das, 2013).
Their results showed that athletes performed better in both tests. The difference between the athlete results and non-athlete statistics were significant. The researcher’s hypothesis follows the data shown in Saha, Halder and Das’ comparative study. SUBJECTS The researcher tested twenty individuals from Mount Pleasant High School, between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. The participants in the experiment were randomly selected from a list of Mount Pleasant High School seniors. Out of the twenty participants, 30% were Hispanic and 70% were Caucasian/Anglo decent. Out of the twenty participants, ten were athletes and ten were non-athletes.
Out of the athletes, the average number of sports played was 1. 8. The average age for the participants in the experiment was 17. 4 years old. The percentage of long-term memory questions correct for athletes was 71. 5%. The percentage of short-term memory questions correct for athletes was 74%. The percentage of long-term memory questions correct for non-athletes was 40. 5%. The percentage of short-term memory questions correct for non-athletes was 56. 5%. The overall ratio between male and female participants was 7:13. The ratio between male and female athletes was 5:5. The ratio between male and female non-athletes was 2:8.
The average level of education completed was eleven years of school, eight years of primary schooling and three years of secondary schooling. METHOD The researcher used the experimental method to test each participant for long-term and short-term memory. A standardized questionnaire was given for both experiments. The short-term questionnaire consisted of twenty-five pictures of everyday objects. The exact objects were a heart, flower, strawberry, turkey, light bulb, star, spider web, flag, bike, snowman, balloon, horse, sun, cat, grapes, hamburger, teddy bear, cross, headphones and a butterfly.
The pictures were printed in black and white in rows of four and columns of five on standard 8×11 sized white paper. The pictures were arranged in no particular order, and had little to nothing in common with one another. The participants were asked to study the images for a max amount of time of two minutes, then each individual was asked to write down (in no specific order) as many of the images they could remember, also timed for a max amount of two minutes. This tested the participant’s ability of their short-term memory.
The long-term memory questionnaire was conducted a day after the short-term memory questionnaire. During the long-term memory test, the participants were asked to try and recall the twenty-five pictures from the day before. This tested the participant’s ability to use their long-term memory to recall images from almost 24 hours before. Each test was given in a loud or crowded environment, either during a class or lunchroom setting. This tested the participant’s ability to focus to complete their test to their best ability. RESULTS
As shown in the graph above, athletes out-performed non-athletes in both of the long-term and short-term memory tests. The percentage of long-term memory questions correct for athletes was 71. 5%. The percentage of short-term memory questions correct for athletes was 74%. The percentage of long-term memory questions correct for non-athletes was 40. 5%. The percentage of short-term memory questions correct for non-athletes was 56. 5%. The athletic participants had higher percentage correct in both long-term and short-term memory tests compared to the participants who were non-athletic.
The average number of correct answers on the long-term memory test for athletes was fifteen out of twenty. The average number of correct answers on the short-term memory test for athletes was fourteen out of twenty. The average number of correct answers on the long-term test for non-athletes was seven out of twenty. The average number of correct answers on the short-term test for non-athletes was eleven out of twenty. CONCLUSION The results of the experiment concur with the original hypothesis.
The researcher hypothesized that athletes will have better long-term and short-term memory compared to those who are not athletes. The research done could possibly incorrect or flawed due to the extraneous variables. The researcher tested the participants under different conditions; some participants were in louder rooms than others. If the experiment were to be done over again, the researcher should test each participant under the same conditions. The participants should have been tested in quiet rooms, so they would not have had as many obvious distractions.
Also, the research done could possibly be incorrect due to the bias present within the experiment, the researcher asked random individuals out of a set group of people, friends and classmates. The research done, and the results shown, proves that any kind of physical activity is better for you both mentally and physically. This information impacts society by encouraging them to participate in more physical activities to increase brain activity, and stimulate long-term and short-term memory. Physical exercise promotes a healthy life style and also improves short-term and long-term memory function sin the brain.