Why Does Learning to Ride a Bike Improve Executive Functions in Children with ASD?

  • TSE, Choi Yeung, Andy 謝采揚 (PI)
  • David, Anderson (CoI)
  • CHAN, Ka Shing, Kevin (CoI)
  • Cheng, James Wesley Ching-hei (CoI)
  • Ho, Amy (CoI)
  • LAI, Wing Him Elvis (CoI)
  • Lee, Hong Paul (CoI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


In this proposed study, we plan a deeper investigation into the components of an exercise intervention that are critical for bringing about positive changes in EF in children with ASD. For example, either (A) spatial updating during translation of the body through space or (B) dynamic balance demands associated with learning to ride a bicycle could plausibly drive positive changes in EF. In this study, we will conduct a RCT of 100 child participants with ASD that compares the executive functions of 1) a learning to bicycle group (recruiting mechanism A & B), 2) a learning to cycle on a bicycle treadmill (rollers) group (recruiting mechanism B), cycling with training wheels (recruiting mechanism A) and a stationary cycling group (recruiting neither mechanism). Three dependent variables will be assessed before (T1), mid- (T2) and after (T3) the 10-week intervention. The dependent variables include: 1) executive functions, reflected by four components (i.e., planning, flexibility, working memory and inhibition), 2) physical activity level and 3) urinary BDNF level. The findings of this proposed study can provide critical insight into the underlying mechanism by which physical exercise improves cognition in children with ASD, ultimately enhancing the design of effective interventions to improve cognition, motor performance, fitness, and functional independence in children with ASD.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/01/2331/12/24


  • Cycling
  • Executive Functions
  • Children
  • Autism


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