European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 104, Issue 5, pp 933–935 | Cite as

Do we really need a central governor to explain brain regulation of exercise performance? A response to the letter of Dr. Marcora

  • Timothy David NoakesEmail author
  • Ross Tucker

To the Editor

We would like to thank Dr. Marcora for his carefully argued response to our recently published paper (Crewe et al. 2008). In his response, Dr. Marcora indicates his acceptance that the brain, rather than some other organ, regulates human exercise performance. The debate between us represents a departure from the historical emphasis on “peripheral fatigue” as the mechanism “limiting” exercise performance. What remains are minor differences in our understanding of how the brain regulates exercise performance and in particular the role of the ratings of perceived exertion (RPE).

We have proposed that exercise is regulated (rather than limited) by a complex system that integrates afferent (feedback) sensory information with anticipatory feedforward control that, at the beginning of exercise, is based on the pre-exercise expectations of task duration and intensity. We argue that the integration of this information generates a conscious perception of effort, measured as the...


Exercise Intensity Exercise Performance Exercise Duration Efference Copy Afferent Feedback 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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