Mental Fatigue Alters Cortical Activation and Psychological Responses, Impairing Performance in a Distance-Based Cycling Trial

Mental Fatigue Alters Cortical Activation and Psychological Responses, Impairing Performance in a Distance-Based Cycling Trial

Author Pires, Flavio de Oliveira Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Silva-Junior, Fernando L. Google Scholar
Brietzke, Cayque Google Scholar
Franco-Alvarenga, Paulo E. Google Scholar
Pinheiro, Fabiano A. Google Scholar
Franca, Nanci M. de Google Scholar
Teixeira, Silmar Google Scholar
Santos, Tony Meireles Google Scholar
Abstract Purpose: We sought to verify if alterations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation and psychological responses would play along with impairments in pacing and performance of mentally fatigued cyclists. Materials and Methods: Eight recreational cyclists performed two preliminary sessions to familiarize them with the rapid visual information processing (RVP) test, psychological scales and 20 km cycling time trial (TT20km) (session 1), as well as to perform a VO2MAX test (session 2). Thereafter, they performed a TT20km either after a RVP test (30 min) or a time- matched rest control session (session 3 and 4 in counterbalanced order). Performance and psychological responses were obtained throughout the TT20km while PFC electroencephalography (EEG) was obtained at 10 and 20 km of the TT20km and throughout the RVP test. Increases in EEG theta band power indicated a mental fatigue condition. Repeated-measures mixed models design and post-hoc effect size (ES) were used in comparisons. Results: Cyclists completed the trial similar to 2.7% slower in mental fatigue (34.3 +/- 1.3 min) than in control (33.4 +/- 1.1 min, p = 0.02, very large ES), with a lower W-MEAN (224.5 +/- 17.9 W vs. 240.2 +/- 20.9 W, respectively

p = 0.03

extremely large ES). There was a higher EEG theta band power during RVP test (p = 0.03

extremely large ES), which remained during the TT20km (p = 0.01

extremely large ES). RPE increased steeper in mental fatigue than in control, together with isolated reductions in motivation at 2th km (p = 0.04

extremely large ES), felt arousal at the 2nd and 4th km (p = 0.01

extremely large ES), and associative thoughts to exercise at the 6th and 16th km (p = 0.02

extremely large ES) of the TT20km. Conclusions: Mentally fatigued recreational cyclists showed impaired performance, altered PFC activation and faster increase in RPE during a TT20km.
Keywords fatigue
pacing strategy
prefrontal cortex
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-coverage Lausanne
Language English
Sponsor CNPq-Brazil
Grant number CNPq: 480883/2013-0
FAPESP: 2016/16496-3
Date 2018
Published in Frontiers In Physiology. Lausanne, v. 9, 2018.
ISSN 1664-042X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Frontiers Media Sa
Extent -
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000427621100001

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