Stimulating the brain makes exercising the legs feel easier
Research led by the University of Kent shows stimulation of the brain impacts on endurance exercise performance by decreasing perception of effort.
The study examined the effect of a technique called transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, on the neuromuscular, physiological and perceptual responses to exhaustive leg exercise.
See Also: This is your brain on exercise
Researchers led by Dr. Lex Mauger from Kent's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences found that tDCS delayed exhaustion of the leg muscles by an average of 15 percent during an exercise task, and that this was likely caused by the participants feeling less effort during the exercise. However, tDCS elicited no significant effect on the neuromuscular response to exercise.
The performance effects of tDCS only occurred when the tDCS electrodes used to deliver the electrical current were positioned in a particular way. This study therefore provides important methodological guidance for the application of tDCS and provides further evidence that brain stimulation can improve endurance exercise performance, although the authors warn against the uncontrolled use of tDCS.
Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Angius L et al. Transcranial direct current stimulation improves isometric time to exhaustion of the knee extensors. Neuroscience, Published December 17 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.10.028
Availability of Brain Tumor Surgery Dye Increases for NHS PatientsNews
A chemical dye that lights up brain tumours during surgery should be available to more NHS patients in England, according to the National Institute for Health and Care and Excellence (NICE).READ MORE
The Puzzle of Axonal Geometry May Have Been Solved, Could Influence Machine LearningNews
Why are axons, the spindly arms extending from neurons that transmit information from neuron to neuron in the brain, designed the way they are?READ MORE
Autism Spectrum Disorder Linked to Shape of Brain's CerebellumNews
Structural differences in the cerebellum may be linked to some aspects of autism spectrum disorder, according to a neuroimaging study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).