Local muscular fatigue and attentional processes in a fencing task

Abstract : Study of the effects of brief exercise on mental processes by Tomporowski and Ellis (1986) has shown that moderate muscular tension improves cognitive performance while low or high tension does not. Improvements in performance induced by exercise are commonly associated with increase in arousal, while impairments are generally attributed to the effects of muscular or central fatigue. To test two hypotheses, that (1) submaximal muscular exercise would decrease premotor time and increase motor time in a subsequent choice-RT task and (2) that submaximal muscular exercise would increase the attentional and preparatory effects observed in premotor time 9 men, aged 20 to 30 years, performed an isometric test at 50% of their maximum voluntary contraction between blocks of a 3-choice reaction-time fencing task. Analysis showed (1) physical exercise did not improve postexercise premotor rime, (2) muscular fatigue induced by isometric contractions did not increase motor time, (3) there was no effect of exercise on attentional and preparatory processes involved in the postexercise choice-RT task. The invalidation of hypotheses was mainly explained by disparity in directional effects across subjects and by use of an exercise that was not really fatiguing.
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Marie-Françoise Devienne, Michel Audiffren, Hubert Ripoll, Jean-François Stein. Local muscular fatigue and attentional processes in a fencing task. Perceptual and Motor Skills, Ammons Scientific, 2000, 90 (1), pp.315-318. ⟨10.2466/pms.2000.90.1.315⟩. ⟨hal-01757060⟩

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