European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 5, pp 1095–1105 | Cite as

Response inhibition impairs subsequent self-paced endurance performance

  • Benjamin Pageaux
  • Romuald Lepers
  • Kristina C. Dietz
  • Samuele M. Marcora
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to test the effects of mental exertion involving response inhibition on pacing and endurance performance during a subsequent 5-km running time trial.

Methods

After familiarization, 12 physically active subjects performed the time trial on a treadmill after two different cognitive tasks: (i) an incongruent Stroop task involving response inhibition (inhibition task) and (ii) a congruent Stroop task not involving response inhibition (control task). Both cognitive tasks were performed for 30 min.

Results

Neither the inhibition nor the control task induced subjective feelings of mental fatigue. Nevertheless, time trial performance was impaired following the inhibition task (24.4 ± 4.9 min) compared to the control task (23.1 ± 3.8 min) because of a significant reduction in average running speed chosen by the subject. The response inhibition task did not affect pacing strategy, which was negative in both conditions. Heart rate and blood lactate responses to the time trial were not affected by the inhibition task, but subjects rated perceived exertion higher compared to the control condition (13.5 ± 1.3 vs 12.4 ± 1.3).

Conclusion

These findings show for the first time that 30 min of mental exertion involving response inhibition reduces subsequent self-paced endurance performance despite no overt mental fatigue. The impairment in endurance performance observed after the incongruent Stroop task seems to be mediated by the higher perception of effort as predicted by the psychobiological model of endurance performance.

Keywords

Perception of effort Time trial Mental fatigue Running Cognitive task Stroop task 

Abbreviations

ACC

Anterior cingulate cortex

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

HR

Heart rate

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

References

  1. Abbiss CR, Laursen PB (2008) Describing and understanding pacing strategies during athletic competition. Sports Med 38(3):239–252. doi:10.2165/00007256-200838030-00004 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amann M, Hopkins WG, Marcora SM (2008) Similar sensitivity of time to exhaustion and time-trial time to changes in endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40(3):574–578. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31815e728f PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boksem MA, Tops M (2008) Mental fatigue: costs and benefits. Brain Res Rev 59(1):125–139. doi:10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.07.001 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borg G (1998) Borg’s perceived exertion and pain scales. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  5. Bray SR, Martin Ginis KA, Hicks AL, Woodgate J (2008) Effects of self-regulatory strength depletion on muscular performance and EMG activation. Psychophysiology 45(2):337–343. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2007.00625.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bush G, Whalen PJ, Rosen BR, Jenike MA, McInerney SC, Rauch SL (1998) The counting Stroop: an interference task specialized for functional neuroimaging: validation study with functional MRI. Hum Brain Mapp 6(4):270–282. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0193(1998)6:4<270:AID-HBM6>3.0.CO;2-0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davis JM, Zhao Z, Stock HS, Mehl KA, Buggy J, Hand GA (2003) Central nervous system effects of caffeine and adenosine on fatigue. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 284(2):R399–R404. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00386.2002 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. de Morree HM, Klein C, Marcora SM (2012) Perception of effort reflects central motor command during movement execution. Psychophysiology 49:1242–1253. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2012.01399.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. De Pauw K, Roelands B, Cheung SS, de Geus B, Rietjens G, Meeusen R (2013) Guidelines to classify subject groups in sport-science research. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 8(2):111–122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Doherty M, Smith PM (2005) Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis. Scand J Med Sci Sports 15(2):69–78. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2005.00445.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gailliot MT (2008) Unlocking the energy dynamics of executive functioning linking executive functioning to brain glycogen. Perspect Psychol Sci Adv Physiol Educ Biol Psychol 3(4):245–263. doi:10.1111/J.1745-6924.2008.00077.X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haggard P (2008) Human volition: towards a neuroscience of will. Nat Rev Neurosci 9(12):934–946. doi:10.1038/nrn2497 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hart SG, Staveland LE (1988) Development of NASA-TLX (task load index): results of empirical and theoretical research. Human Ment Workload 1:139–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jones AM, Doust JH (1996) A 1 % treadmill grade most accurately reflects the energetic cost of outdoor running. J Sports Sci 14(4):321–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lovatt D, Xu Q, Liu W, Takano T, Smith NA, Schnermann J, Tieu K, Nedergaard M (2012) Neuronal adenosine release, and not astrocytic ATP release, mediates feedback inhibition of excitatory activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(16):6265–6270. doi:10.1073/pnas.1120997109 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marcora S (2010a) Counterpoint: afferent feedback from fatigued locomotor muscles is not an important determinant of endurance exercise performance. J Appl Physiol 108(2):454–456. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00976.2009a, (discussion 456–457)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Marcora SM (2010b) Effort: perception of. In: Goldstein EB (ed) Encyclopaedia of Perception. SAGE Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, pp 380–383Google Scholar
  18. Marcora SM, Staiano W (2010) The limit to exercise tolerance in humans: mind over muscle? Eur J Appl Physiol 109(4):763–770. doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1418-6 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marcora SM, Staiano W, Manning V (2009) Mental fatigue impairs physical performance in humans. J Appl Physiol 106(3):857–864. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.91324.2008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Matthews G, Campbell S, Falconer S (2001) Assessment of motivational states in performance environments. Proc Annu Meet Human Factors Ergon Soc 45:906–910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mostofsky SH, Simmonds DJ (2008) Response inhibition and response selection: two sides of the same coin. J Cogn Neurosci 20(5):751–761. doi:10.1162/jocn.2008.20500 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nederhof E, Zwerver J, Brink M, Meeusen R, Lemmink K (2008) Different diagnostic tools in non-functional overreaching. Int J Sports Med 29(7):590–597. doi:10.1055/s-2007-989264 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nummela AT, Paavolainen LM, Sharwood KA, Lambert MI, Noakes TD, Rusko HK (2006) Neuromuscular factors determining 5 km running performance and running economy in well-trained athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol 97(1):1–8. doi:10.1007/s00421-006-0147-3 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pageaux B, Marcora SM, Lepers R (2013) Prolonged mental exertion does not alter neuromuscular function of the knee extensors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 45(12):2254–2264. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31829b504a PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Richter M, Friedrich A, Gendolla GH (2008) Task difficulty effects on cardiac activity. Psychophysiology 45(5):869–875. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2008.00688.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rudebeck PH, Walton ME, Smyth AN, Bannerman DM, Rushworth MF (2006) Separate neural pathways process different decision costs. Nat Neurosci 9(9):1161–1168. doi:10.1038/nn1756 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stroop JR (1992) Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions (Reprinted from Journal Experimental-Psychology, vol 18, pp 643–662, 1935). J Exp Psychol Gen 121(1):15–23. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.121.1.15
  28. Sugg MJ, McDonald JE (1994) Time course of inhibition in color-response and word-response versions of the Stroop task. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 20(3):647–675PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Swick D, Jovanovic J (2002) Anterior cingulate cortex and the Stroop task: neuropsychological evidence for topographic specificity. Neuropsychologia 40(8):1240–1253 S0028393201002263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Terry PC, Lane AM, Fogarty GJ (2003) Construct validity of the profile of mood states: adolescents for use with adults. Psychol Sport Exerc 4:125–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tucker R, Lambert MI, Noakes TD (2006) An analysis of pacing strategies during men’s world-record performances in track athletics. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 1(3):233–245PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Wallace HM, Baumeister RF (2002) The effects of success versus failure feedback on further self-control. Self Identity 1:35–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Walton ME, Bannerman DM, Alterescu K, Rushworth MF (2003) Functional specialization within medial frontal cortex of the anterior cingulate for evaluating effort-related decisions. J Neurosci 23(16):6475–6479PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Walton ME, Kennerley SW, Bannerman DM, Phillips PE, Rushworth MF (2006) Weighing up the benefits of work: behavioral and neural analyses of effort-related decision making. Neural Netw 19(8):1302–1314. doi:10.1016/j.neunet.2006.03.005 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Williamson JW, McColl R, Mathews D, Mitchell JH, Raven PB, Morgan WP (2001) Hypnotic manipulation of effort sense during dynamic exercise: cardiovascular responses and brain activation. J Appl Physiol 90(4):1392–1399PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Williamson JW, McColl R, Mathews D, Mitchell JH, Raven PB, Morgan WP (2002) Brain activation by central command during actual and imagined handgrip under hypnosis. J Appl Physiol 92(3):1317–1324. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00939.2001 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Pageaux
    • 1
  • Romuald Lepers
    • 2
  • Kristina C. Dietz
    • 1
  • Samuele M. Marcora
    • 1
  1. 1.Endurance Research Group, School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of Kent at MedwayKentUK
  2. 2.Laboratoire INSERM U1093, Faculté des Sciences du SportsUniversité de Bourgogne-UFR STAPSDijonFrance

Personalised recommendations