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Progress in Brain Research

Samuele Marcora, Mustafa Sarkar
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Daniel Minns, Emma Mosley, Sylvain Laborde, Zoe L Wimshurst
The aim of this study is to explore the contribution of cardiac vagal activity (CVA), derived from heart rate variability (HRV), on peripheral perception under pressure. Forty-nine participants (n=49) completed a peripheral perception task under pressure. Peripheral perception was measured via the Vienna system from which performance variables were derived (total field of vision, total correct reactions, total incorrect reactions and omitted reactions). CVA measurements were taken at baseline, during the task and post-task for 5min along with subjective self-reported stress ratings on a visual analog scale (VAS)...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Sylvain Laborde, Emma Mosley, Lea Ueberholz
Self-regulation plays a critical role in sport performance. An objective, psychophysiological marker of self-regulation is cardiac vagal activity, the activity of the vagus nerve regulating cardiac functioning. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of factors influencing cardiac vagal activity, which can be useful for athletes. Specifically, we organize this overview in two main domains: personal factors and environmental factors. Among the personal factors, we discuss the behavioral strategies that can be used by athletes: nutrition, non-ingestive oral habits, water immersion, body temperature reduction, sleeping habits, relaxation methods, cognitive techniques, praying, music, and exercise...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Christina J Howard, Jonathan Uttley, Sally Andrews
We investigated the relationship between participation in team ball sports and performance in two sustained spatiotemporal attention tasks-a position monitoring variant of the multiple object tracking (MOT) task and target identification in the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. Thirty participants were asked about the frequency of their participation in team ball sports and undertook both the MOT task and RSVP task. In the MOT task, participants viewed an array of eight discs as they moved unpredictably for 3-8s before disappearing...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Robert Hyland-Monks, Lorcan Cronin, Lars McNaughton, David Marchant
Research has outlined how self-regulation is crucial to the decision-making processes and pacing of endurance performance. There is evidence to suggest that executive function is implicated in self-regulatory processes, as the two are conceptually similar and share common brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex. This review draws upon various research domains to argue that executive function underlies the top-down self-regulation of endurance tasks. Indeed, executive functioning capacity may explain differences in endurance performances...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Mark R Wilson, Ann Webb, Lee J Wylie, Samuel J Vine
The current study sought to explore attentional mechanisms underpinning visuomotor performance degradation following acute exercise. Ten experienced basketball players took free throws while wearing mobile eye tracking glasses, before and after performing a bout of cycling exercise. Shooting accuracy was measured using a 6-point scoring system, and quiet eye duration (the final fixation to a target) was adopted as an objective measure of top-down attentional control. Four intensities of exercise (based on an initial ramp test) were performed in a counterbalanced order: rest, moderate, heavy and severe...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Kai Lutz
Knowledge about possible brain mechanisms involved in the regulation of exercise intensity has vastly grown over the last decade. The current review attempts to condense this knowledge currently published with a focus on brain imaging studies. A number of psychological manipulations known to influence exercise intensity are discussed with respect to their possibly underlying brain structures. Although far from forming a complete picture, current knowledge allows to speculate on various possible influences and their corresponding neural bases...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Luca Angius, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Emiliano Santarnecchi
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques have been used for decades to study brain function and for the treatment of various neurological disease. These techniques involve the passage of electrical current or magnetic field in a controlled manner to a targeted brain area. Recently, experimental studies explored the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for the improvement of physical performance in healthy individuals. In this chapter we reviewed and analyzed the current scientific literature, highlighted methodological limitations and also suggested possible neurophysiological mechanisms...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Benjamin Pageaux, Romuald Lepers
Mental fatigue is known to increase subjective feelings of fatigue and to decrease cognitive performance, but its impact on physical performance remains poorly understood. The aim of this chapter was to review the results of 29 studies published between 2009 and April 2018 and focusing on the impact of mental fatigue on sport-related performance. Taken all studies together, it appears that mental fatigue impairs endurance performance, motor skills performance and decision-making performance. However, maximal force production is not reduced in the presence of mental fatigue...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Frank E Marino
The relationship between performance, heat load and the ability to withstand serious thermal insult is a key factor in understanding how endurance is regulated. The capacity to withstand high thermal loads is not unique to humans and is typical to all mammals. Thermoregulation is an evolutionary adaptation which is species specific and should be regarded as a survival strategy rather than purely a physiological response. The fact that mammals have selected ~37°C as a set point could be a key factor in understanding our endurance capabilities and strategy...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Stephane Perrey, Pierre Besson
Understanding the interactions between brain activity and behavior comprehensively in achieving optimal exercise performance in sports is still lacking. The existent research in this area has been limited by the constraints of sports environments and the robustness of the most suitable non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods (electroencephalography, EEG and functional near-infrared spectroscopy, fNIRS) to motion artifacts and noise. However, recent advances in brain mapping technology should improve the capabilities of the future brain imaging devices to assess and monitor the level of adaptive cognitive-motor performance during exercise in sports environments...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Joshua C Weavil, Markus Amann
The corticospinal pathway is considered the primary conduit for voluntary motor control in humans. The efficacy of the corticospinal pathway to relay neural signals from higher brain areas to the locomotor muscle, i.e., corticospinal excitability, is subject to alterations during exercise. While the integrity of this motor pathway has historically been examined during single-joint contractions, a small number of investigations have recently focused on whole body exercise, such as cycling or rowing. Although differences in methodologies employed between these studies complicate the interpretation of the existing literature, it appears that the net excitability of the corticospinal pathway remains unaltered during fatiguing whole body exercise...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Emma Ross, Luke Gupta, Liam Sanders
Research from sports science and related clinical and scientific fields produces knowledge that is often highly relevant to high performance sport. However, there exists a gap between current science and applied coaching or sports science practice. Addressing, and bridging, this gap from both sides of the research-application divide is an important ambition. In this commentary we discuss the wonderful, yet often unforgiving challenge of improving athlete performance as a practitioner or coach in high performance sport...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Ruth Boat, Todd Atkins, Nathan Davenport, Simon Cooper
Performing a task requiring self-control may impair performance on a subsequent physical task also requiring self-control. The mechanisms explaining why self-control is reduced following prior use currently remain unclear. This study, therefore, explored whether exerting self-control (a) reduces performance, (b) increases perceptions of pain, and (c) reduces motivation during a subsequent, unrelated physical task that requires self-control. In a within-subject design, 55 individuals completed an easy (congruent) Stroop task (no self-control) or a difficult (incongruent) Stroop task (self-control)...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Walter Staiano, Andrea Bosio, Helma M de Morree, Ermanno Rampinini, Samuele Marcora
The capacity to sustain high-intensity aerobic exercise is essential for endurance performance. Therefore, it is important to understand what is the factor limiting time to exhaustion (TTE) in healthy and fit adults. In Study 1, maximal voluntary cycling power (MVCP) was measured in 11 volunteers before and immediately after a high-intensity TTE test on cycle ergometer. Cadence was 60 rpm in both the MVCP and TTE tests. Despite a 35% loss in MVCP, power produced during the final MVCP test (mean ± SD 469 ± 111 W) was significantly higher than the power required by the TTE test (269 ± 55 W) (P < 0...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Mark J Campbell, Adam J Toth, Aidan P Moran, Magdalena Kowal, Chris Exton
Understanding the neurological changes that take place as expertise develops is a central topic in both cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Here, we argue that video games, despite previous misconceptions, are an excellent model environment from which one can examine the development of neurocognitive expertise. Of particular relevance we argue is the area of esports, which encompass video/computer games played within the medium of cyberspace competitively and increasingly professionally. The massive scale of participation, controlled environments, structured skill ratings, pervasive social nature, and large repositories of data, together make esports potentially a very fruitful area for scientific research to increase our understanding of a new era of cognitive athletes...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Tadhg E MacIntyre, Christopher R Madan, Aidan P Moran, Christian Collet, Aymeric Guillot
Motor imagery has been central to adzvances in sport performance and rehabilitation. Neuroscience has provided techniques for measurement which have aided our understanding, conceptualization and theorizing. Challenges remain in the appropriate measurement of motor imagery. Motor imagery continues to provide an impetus for new findings relating to our emotional network, embodied cognition, inhibitory processes and action representation. New directions are proposed which include exploring the physical setting and conditions in which imagery occurs and investigating if short term impairments to the motor system detract from motor imagery ability and the potential application of motor imagery for recovery...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Daniel T Robinson, Ross Cloak, Ian M Lahart, Andrew M Lane
The ability to hold a pace is a key skill for endurance athletes. The present study compared the influence of different strategies on how athletes learn to pace at 80% of their maximum performance for a 3-min cycle time trial. Participants first completed three maximal 3-min tests to establish maximal performance. During subsequent visits we asked participants to ride at 80% of their average maximal 3-min power output for four 3-min efforts under different conditions. Participants were blinded to feedback for three of the four conditions with participants (a) riding on feel (all feedback blinded), (b) associating on the task by focusing attention on the skills needed for efficient cycling, and (c) dissociating from the task by intentionally focusing concentration elsewhere (d) and finally, participants rode with full feedback where pace could be regulated via observation...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Costas I Karageorghis, Marcelo Bigliassi, Ségolène M R Guérin, Yvonne Delevoye-Turrell
In this chapter we review recent work from the realms of neuroscience and neuropsychology to explore the brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of music on exercise. We begin with an examination of the technique of electroencephalography (EEG), which has proven popular with researchers in this domain. We go on to appraise work conducted with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and then, looking more toward the future, we consider the application of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study brain hemodynamics...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Nathan Wood, John Parker, Paul Freeman, Matthew Black, Lee Moore
This study investigated the relationship between challenge and threat states and anaerobic power, core affect, perceived exertion, and self-focused attention during a competitive sprint cycling task. Thirty-five participants completed familiarization, baseline, and pressurized Wingate tests. Before the pressurized test, challenge and threat states were measured via self-report (demand resource evaluation score) and cardiovascular reactivity (challenge/threat index). After the pressurized test, relative peak power, core affect, perceived exertion, and self-focused attention were assessed...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
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