Society is aging worldwide. To promote the health and quality of life in elderly people, we must find a way to enhance and improve cognitive function, especially inhibitory function that suppresses inappropriate behaviors. Previous studies have indicated that warm-up cognitive activities enhanced the activation of appropriate behavior. As with the activation of appropriate behavior, inhibitory function is expected to be enhanced by a warm-up activity, although this theory has not yet been directly tested. Here, we investigated whether inhibitory function in a task was enhanced by a warm-up activity. We used a Navon task as a warm-up activity, in which reading small letters (local Navon task) required inhibitory function more than reading a large letter (global Navon task). The Stroop task was used as the subsequent task. Our results showed that the accuracy of the Stroop task after the local Navon task was higher than after the global Navon task. This outcome suggests that inhibitory function in the Stroop task was enhanced by the local Navon task, which was an inhibitory warm-up cognitive activity. Moreover, this study contributes to the development of new techniques of cognitive training to prevent the decline in inhibitory function during aging or other clinical scenarios, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
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