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Effects of self-regulation strategies on neuropsychological responses and athletic performance during aerobic exercise

Grant number: 18/08898-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Rômulo Cássio de Moraes Bertuzzi
Grantee:Marcelo Bigliassi
Home Institution: Escola de Educação Física e Esporte (EEFE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Sensory distractions such as music and video have been widely used in the realm of exercise sciences as a means by which to guide attention outwardly and reduce processing of afferent feedback. However, the effects of exteroceptive sensory stimuli commonly occur at intensities below ventilatory threshold (e.g., self-paced walking). This is because external influences are generally suppressed during high-intensity exercises. In such instances, it appears reasonable to assume that coping strategies may provide exercisers with greater attentional control, leading to subsequent positive effects on task performance. One way of developing self-control is through the use of meditation. Such intervention has the potential to reduce perceived exertion and facilitate the conscious control of movements. The brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of meditation on exercise are hitherto under-researched. However, recent evidence indicates that a meditative state might reduce the occurrence of despair-related thoughts during exercise and prevent task performance from being disrupted. Therefore, the aim of the present research programme will be to explore the brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of meditation on psychological and neurophysiological responses during exercise and sport-related tasks. Electrical activity in the brain and heart will be captured throughout the tests. Psychological responses will be measured by use of single-item scales throughout the exercise bouts. Two studies will be undertaken as part of this body of work. For the first experiment, participants will be required to cycle at 10% above ventilatory threshold as a means by which to identify the effects of meditation during an exercise mode that is frequently prescribed in gyms and health centres. The second experiment, on the other hand, was purposively designed to investigate the effects of meditation on athletic performance. In this case, a similar exercise mode - a 4-km time trial - will be administered at self-paced speeds. The interventions used in this body of work are hypothesised to ameliorate exertional responses, rearrange the electrical frequency in the brain and influence connectivity across somatosensory regions. The results of this study will be used to shed new light on the neurophysiological mechanisms associated with attention and fatigue during exercise.Keywords: athletic performance, brain, motor activity, neuroscience, psychophysiology

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GUILHERME, JOAO PAULO L. F.; BIGLIASSI, MARCELO; LANCHA JUNIOR, ANTONIO H. Association study of SLC6A2 gene Thr99Ile variant (rs1805065) with athletic status in the Brazilian population. Gene, v. 707, p. 53-57, JUL 30 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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