Nicola Lovecchio


The executive functions refer to a family of top-down mental processes that intervene when a subject must focus and pay attention, or when relying on instinct or intuition is insufficient, or impossible to maintain. Recently, an increasing number of studies aimed to investigate further associations between exercise and cognitive and executive functions. Although, existing evidence has revealed that fitness and exercise have important relationships with multiple aspects of cognitive functions, studies also suggest that the beneficial effects of exercise are larger and more solid for executive functions. Consequently, this brief report tried to define robust and wide accepted relations between sport practice, improvement in executive functions, and, in turn, better academic achievement. The findings suggest that elite athletes in open skills sports display more beneficial executive functions in comparison to elite athletes in closed skills sports. Mixed skills would seem to improve executive functions less than open skills but more than closed skills. Also, executive functions improve mathematics and geometry performance. With respect to physical fitness, athletes must consistently perform highly complex or difficult tasks to acquire sport success and must also maintain optimal mental state to ensure the best possible performance. From this sport advantage, constant practice leads to improved cognitive performance.

Parole chiave

Funzioni Esecutive, risultati scolastici, abilità di situazione, abilità di prestazione, sport

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