Affect during incremental exercise: The role of inhibitory cognition, autonomic cardiac function, and cerebral oxygenation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Pleasure is a key factor for physical activity behavior in sedentary individuals. Inhibitory cognitive control may play an important role in pleasure perception while exercising, especially at high intensities. In addition, separate work suggests that autonomic regulation and cerebral hemodynamics influence the affective and cognitive responses during exercise. PURPOSE:We investigated the effects of exercise intensity on affect, inhibitory control, cardiac autonomic function, and prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxygenation. METHODS:Thirty-seven sedentary young adults performed two experimental conditions (exercise and control) in separate sessions in a repeated-measures design. In the exercise condition, participants performed a maximum graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer as we continuously measured oxygen consumption, heart rate variability (HRV), and PFC oxygenation. At each of 8 intensity levels we also measured inhibitory control (Stroop test), associative and dissociative thoughts (ADT), and affective/pleasure ratings. In the control condition, participants sat motionless on a cycle ergometer without active pedaling, and we collected the same measures at the same points in time as the exercise condition. We evaluated the main effects and interactions of exercise condition and intensity level for each measure using two-way repeated measures ANOVAs. Additionally, we evaluated the relationship between affect and inhibitory control, ADT, HRV, and PFC oxygenation using Pearson's correlation coefficients. RESULTS:For exercise intensities below and at the ventilatory threshold (VT), participants reported feeling neutral, with preservation of inhibitory control, while intensities above the VT were associated with displeasure (p<0.001), decreased inhibitory control and HRV (p<0.001), and increased PFC oxygenation (p<0.001). At the highest exercise intensity, pleasure was correlated with the low-frequency index of HRV (r = -0.34; p<0.05) and the low-frequency/high-frequency HRV ratio (r = -0.33; p<0.05). PFC deoxyhemoglobin was correlated with pleasure two stages above the VT (r = -0.37; p<0.05). CONCLUSION:Our results support the notion that exercise at high intensities influences inhibitory control and one's perception of pleasure, which are linked to changes in cardiac autonomic control and cerebral hemodynamics. These findings strengthen the existence of an integrated brain-heart-body system and highlight the importance of exercise intensity in exercise-related behavior in sedentary individuals.
Project description:Individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) have lower baseline metabolic activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) associated with impairment of cognitive functions in decision-making and inhibitory control. Aerobic exercise has shown to improve PFC function and cognitive performance, however, its effects on SUD individuals remain unclear.To verify the cognitive performance and oxygenation of the PFC during an incremental exercise in SUD individuals.Fourteen individuals under SUD treatment performed a maximum graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer with continuous measurements of oxygen consumption, PFC oxygenation, and inhibitory control (Stroop test) every two minutes of exercise at different intensities. Fifteen non-SUD individuals performed the same protocol and were used as control group.Exercise increased oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb) and total hemoglobin (tHb) by 9% and 7%, respectively. However, when compared to a non-SUD group, this increase was lower at high intensities (p<0.001), and the inhibitory cognitive control was lower at rest and during exercise (p<0.007). In addition, PFC hemodynamics during exercise was inversely correlated with inhibitory cognitive performance (reaction time) (r = -0.62, p = 0.001), and a lower craving perception for the specific abused substance (p = 0.0189) was reported immediately after exercise.Despite SUD individuals having their PFC cerebral oxygenation increased during exercise, they presented lower cognition and oxygenation when compared to controls, especially at elevated intensities. These results may reinforce the role of exercise as an adjuvant treatment to improve PFC function and cognitive control in individuals with SUD.
Project description:Moderate-intensity exercise is known to be the best effective intensity to enhance cognitive function, including memory and learning. However, the effects of high-intensity exercise in comparison with moderate- intensity exercise on cognitive function remain controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of high-intensity resistance exercise on cognitive function.Thirty-six healthy female college students volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were divided into four groups: (i) control group (CON); (ii) high-intensity resistance exercise group (HIR); (iii) high-intensity aerobic exercise group (HIA); and (iv) combined moderate-intensity exercise group (MIC). Immediately prior to and after exercise, the solved number (SN) and reaction times (RT) in the Stroop test (neutral task, NT and incongruent task, IT), as well as the tissue oxygen index (TOI) in the left and right prefrontal cortex (PFC) were measured in all groups.In the NT, both HIR and MIC groups showed significant improvements in SN and RT compared with the CON group. Meanwhile, performance in the HIA group was significantly attenuated compared with that in the MIC group. In the IT, only the MIC group showed a significant increase in SN and RT compared with the CON group. Furthermore, the TOI in the PFC (left PFC in the NT, and bilaterally in the IT) was significantly lower in the HIR group compared with that in the CON group.The results of this study show worse cognitive performance and decreased PFC oxygenation in high-intensity exercise compared with moderate-intensity exercise and controls. These results suggest that high-intensity exercise may not improve cognition as effectively as moderate-intensity exercise.
Project description:Postmenopausal women have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease through many factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle and reduced heart rate variability (HRV). Endurance training improves coronary risk but the role of exercise intensity is unclear. The purpose of this observational study was to evaluate the effects of moderate versus vigorous exercise on cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women. Thirty-six postmenopausal women who self-reported training at moderate (3-5.9 METS; n=18; age 58.9±4.4yr) or vigorous intensities (>6 METS; n=18; age 59.7±5.2yr) participated. C-reactive protein (CRP), HRV, VO 2 max, and stress (Perceived Stress Survey, Menopause Rating Scale) were measured. Groups were compared using independent samples t- tests, and associations of exercise intensities with CRP and HRV were assessed using multiple regression. CRP, HRV, and VO 2 max were similar ( p >0.05). Vigorous exercise had lower stress subscale scores ( p <0.01) and higher counter-stress subscale scores compared to moderate ( p <0.05). There was a positive association between time spent in vigorous exercise and HRV ( p <0.05).Vigorous exercise may not confer additional benefits in CRP and HRV over moderate, except for stress reduction. However, more time spent in vigorous exercise was associated with higher HRV. Therefore, increased parasympathetic tone may provide cardioprotection after menopause.
Project description:Acute exercise consistently benefits both emotion and cognition, particularly cognitive control. We evaluated acute endurance exercise influences on emotion, domain-general cognitive control and the cognitive control of emotion, specifically cognitive reappraisal. Thirty-six endurance runners, defined as running at least 30 miles per week with one weekly run of at least 9 miles (21 female, age 18-30 years) participated. In a repeated measures design, participants walked at 57% age-adjusted maximum heart rate (HRmax; range 51%-63%) and ran at 70% HRmax (range 64%-76%) for 90 min on two separate days. Participants completed measures of emotional state and the Stroop test of domain-general cognitive control before, every 30 min during and 30 min after exercise. Participants also completed a cognitive reappraisal task (CRT) after exercise. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) tracked changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb and dHb) levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Results suggest that even at relatively moderate intensities, endurance athletes benefit emotionally from running both during and after exercise and task-related PFC oxygenation reductions do not appear to hinder prefrontal-dependent cognitive control.
Project description:It has never been possible to immediately evaluate heart rate variability (HRV) during exercise. We aimed to visualize the real-time changes in the power spectrum of HRV during exercise and to investigate its relationship to the ventilatory threshold (VT).Thirty healthy subjects (29.1±5.7 years of age) and 35 consecutive patients (59.0±13.2 years of age) with myocardial infarctions underwent cardiopulmonary exercise tests with an RAMP protocol ergometer. The HRV was continuously assessed with power spectral analyses using the maximum entropy method and projected on a screen without delay. During exercise, a significant decrease in the high frequency (HF) was followed by a drastic shift in the power spectrum of the HRV with a periodic augmentation in the low frequency/HF (L/H) and steady low HF. When the HRV threshold (HRVT) was defined as conversion from a predominant high frequency (HF) to a predominant low frequency/HF (L/H), the VO2 at the HRVT (HRVT-VO2) was substantially correlated with the VO2 at the lactate threshold and VT) in the healthy subjects (r=0.853 and 0.921, respectively). The mean difference between each threshold (0.65 mL/kg per minute for lactate threshold and HRVT, 0.53 mL/kg per minute for VT and HRVT) was nonsignificant (P>0.05). Furthermore, the HRVT-VO2 was also correlated with the VT-VO2 in these myocardial infarction patients (r=0.867), and the mean difference was -0.72 mL/kg per minute and was nonsignificant (P>0.05).A HRV analysis with our method enabled real-time visualization of the changes in the power spectrum during exercise. This can provide additional information for detecting the VT.
Project description:Exercise and training prescription in endurance-type sports has a strong theoretical background with various practical applications based on threshold concepts. Given the challenges and pitfalls of determining individual training zones on the basis of subsystem indicators (e.g., blood lactate concentration, respiratory parameters), the question arises whether there are alternatives for intensity distribution demarcation. Considering that training in a low intensity zone substantially contributes to the performance outcome of endurance athletes and exceeding intensity targets based on a misleading aerobic threshold can lead to negative performance and recovery effects, it would be desirable to find a parameter that could be derived via non-invasive, low cost and commonly available wearable devices. In this regard, analytics conducted from non-linear dynamics of heart rate variability (HRV) have been adapted to gain further insights into the complex cardiovascular regulation during endurance-type exercise. Considering the reciprocal antagonistic behavior and the interaction of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system from low to high exercise intensities, it may be promising to use an approach that utilizes information about the regulation quality of the organismic system to determine training-intensity distribution. Detrended fluctuation analysis of HRV and its short-term scaling exponent alpha1 (DFA-alpha1) seems suitable for applied sport-specific settings including exercise from low to high intensities. DFA-alpha1 may be taken as an indicator for exercise prescription and intensity distribution monitoring in endurance-type sports. The present perspective illustrates the potential of DFA-alpha1 for diagnostic and monitoring purposes as a "global" system parameter and proxy for organismic demands.
Project description:Activation changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions have been linked to acute exercise-induced improvements in cognitive performance. The type of exercise performed may influence PFC activation, and further impact cognitive function. The present study aimed to compare PFC activation during cognitive testing after moderate-intensity, high intensity, and yoga exercises, and to determine if PFC activation is linked to cognitive performance. Eight subjects (four male and four female), aged 35 ± 5 completed a control, high intensity, moderate intensity, and yoga exercises followed by administration of a cognitive task (NIH Toolbox Fluid Cognition). Left and right PFC activation (LPFC and RPFC, respectively) were evaluated by measuring hemoglobin difference (Hbdiff) changes during post-exercise cognitive assessment using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Activation during the cognitive test was higher in the LPFC after moderate intensity exercise compared to control, high intensity, and yoga (5.30 ± 6.65 vs. 2.26 ± 2.40, 2.50 ± 1.48, 2.41 ± 2.36 ?M, p < 0.05, respectively). A negative relationship was detected between LPFC and processing speed after exercise. PFC activation did not align with cognitive performance. However, acute exercise, regardless of type, appeared to alter neural processing. Specifically, less PFC activation was required for a given neural output after exercise.
Project description:Recent studies have reported significant alterations in horse physiological and gait parameters when exposed to increased rider weight during moderate to high intensity exercise. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of increased rider weight (+15% and +25% of the regular rider's bodyweight) on horse behavioral, physiological and gait symmetry parameters during a standard dressage test. Twenty rider-horse equipages performed the same test three times in a randomized, crossover design. Salivary cortisol (SC), heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), behavior and gait symmetry (GS) were measured. SC concentrations increased from baseline (p < 0.001), but there was no significant treatment effect (difference from baseline (ng/mL): Control: 0.21 ± 0.1; +15%: 0.37 ± 0.1; +25%: 0.45 ± 0.2, p = 0.52). Similarly, there were no overall treatment effects on HR or HRV variables (avg HR across treatments (bpm): 105.3 ± 1.3), nor on GS parameters. There was large individual variation in conflict behavior but no effect of weight treatment. We conclude that increasing the weight of the regular rider by 15% and 25% did not result in significant short-term alterations in the measured parameters. Maximum rider:horse weight ratios were 15-23% and the exercise intensity was relatively low; thus the results should not be extrapolated to other weight ratios and exercise intensities.
Project description:The cardiotoxic effects of adjuvant cancer treatments (i.e., chemotherapy and radiation treatment) have been well documented, but the effects on peripheral cardiovascular function are still unclear. We hypothesized that cancer survivors i) would have decreased resting endothelial function; and ii) altered muscle deoxygenation response during moderate intensity cycling exercise compared to cancer-free controls. A total of 8 cancer survivors (~70 months post-treatment) and 9 healthy controls completed a brachial artery FMD test, an index of endothelial-dependent dilation, followed by an incremental exercise test up to the ventilatory threshold (VT) on a cycle ergometer during which pulmonary V?O2 and changes in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-derived microvascular tissue oxygenation (TOI), total hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]total), and muscle deoxygenation ([HHb] ? fractional O2 extraction) were measured. There were no significant differences in age, height, weight, and resting blood pressure between cancer survivors and control participants. Brachial artery FMD was similar between groups (P = 0.98). During exercise at the VT, TOI was similar between groups, but [Hb]total and [HHb] were significantly decreased in cancer survivors compared to controls (P < 0.01) The rate of change for TOI (?TOI?/V?O2) and [HHb] (?[HHb]/?V?O2) relative to ?V?O2 were decreased in cancer survivors compared to controls (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03 respectively). In cancer survivors, a decreased skeletal muscle microvascular function was observed during moderate intensity cycling exercise. These data suggest that adjuvant cancer therapies have an effect on the integrated relationship between O2 extraction, V?O2 and O2 delivery during exercise.
Project description:The regulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) can improve cognitive function in major depressive disorders (MDD). Heart rate variability (HRV) derives from the dynamic control of the ANS and reflects the balance between the activities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems by measuring tiny changes in adjacent heart beats. Task-related HRV may reflect the association between the flexibility of cognition and ANS function. The study was to investigate the neural mechanism of interactions between ANS and cognitive function in MDD with Magnetoencephalography (MEG) measurements. Participants included 20 MDD patients and 18 healthy controls (HCs). All participants were measured with a go/no-go task MEG. HRV indices, the standard deviation of the average normal-to-normal (NN) interval calculated over short periods (SDANN) and the square root of the mean squared differences of successive NN intervals (RMSSD), were derived from the raw MEG data. Results showed that MDD patients showed decreased SDANN and RMSSD. In MDD patients, both resting-state and task-related RMSSD were related to inhibitory and control dysfunction. In the go/no-go task, many areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are responsible for an individual's inhibitory function. A brain MEG functional connectivity analysis revealed that there were significant differences in four brain regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) between MDD patients and HCs. Task-related RMSSD in HCs were related to the functional connectivity between the left middle frontal gyrus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), while in MDD patients, these values were not related to the above functional connectivity but were related to the functional connectivity between the left middle frontal gyrus and insula. However, the resting-state RMSSD value was not related to these significant difference functional connectivity networks in all participants. It concludes that the decreased task-related HRV is associated with inhibitory dysfunction through functional inter-region connectivity in the PFC in MDD, and the task-related HRV can be used as an index of the association between MDD and autonomic dysregulation.