Neurol Res. 2016 Dec 30;:1-10
In real-world auditory environments, humans are exposed to overlapping auditory information such as those made by human voices and musical instruments even during routine physical activities such as walking and cycling. The present study investigated how concurrent physical exercise affects performance of incidental and intentional learning of overlapping auditory streams, and whether physical fitness modulates the performances of learning. Participants were grouped with 11 participants with lower and higher fitness each, based on their Vo2max value. They were presented simultaneous auditory sequences with a distinct statistical regularity each other (i.e. statistical learning), while they were pedaling on the bike and seating on a bike at rest. In experiment 1, they were instructed to attend to one of the two sequences and ignore to the other sequence. In experiment 2, they were instructed to attend to both of the two sequences. After exposure to the sequences, learning effects were evaluated by familiarity test. In the experiment 1, performance of statistical learning of ignored sequences during concurrent pedaling could be higher in the participants with high than low physical fitness, whereas in attended sequence, there was no significant difference in performance of statistical learning between high than low physical fitness. Furthermore, there was no significant effect of physical fitness on learning while resting. In the experiment 2, the both participants with high and low physical fitness could perform intentional statistical learning of two simultaneous sequences in the both exercise and rest sessions. The improvement in physical fitness might facilitate incidental but not intentional statistical learning of simultaneous auditory sequences during concurrent physical exercise.