Asymmetry of Cerebral Hemodynamic Response to Incremental Cycling Exercise

Mark Stone, Alan St Clair Gibson, Kevin THOMPSON

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Purpose: Exercise is known to result in hemodynamic changes in the bilateral prefrontal cortex. The aim of this study was to investigate hemodynamic changes in right and left hemispheres of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during incremental cycling exercise. Methods: After 10 min rest, 9 participants (mean age 26.6 ± 2.5 y, mass 77.5 ± 9.7 kg, stature 1.79 ± 0.9 m) cycled at 100-150 W for 4 min. Thereafter, resistance was increased by 25 W every 4 min until exhaustion (EXH). Respiratory exchange and concentrations of oxy- ([HbO 2]), deoxy- ([ (HHb]), and total hemoglobin ([Hb tot]) in the PFC were continuously measured. Data were averaged for 60 s at rest and preceding ventilatory threshold 1 (VT 1), VT 2, and volitional EXH and after 5 min recovery. Subjective ratings of affect were measured at VT 1, VT 2, VT 1 minus 25 W (VT 1-25W), and VT 2 plus 25 W (VT 2+25W). Results: There were no between-hemispheres differences in [HbO 2] or [Hb tot] at rest, VT 1, or recovery or in [HHb] at any point. Right-hemisphere [HbO 2] and [Hb tot] were significantly greater than left at VT 2 (P = .01 and P = .02) and EXH (P = .03 and P = .02). Affect was significantly greater at VT 1-25W vs VT 2 and VT 2+25W and at VT 1 and VT 2 vs VT 2+25W (P < .01-.03). Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to describe an exercise-state-dependent change in PFC asymmetry during incremental exercise. The asymmetry detected coincided with a decrease in affect scores in agreement with the PFC-asymmetry hypothesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-275
    Number of pages3
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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