Brain Response to Effort Regulation in Cycling Exercise

Main Article Content

Sofia Buckley
Taylor Emenaker
Robert Heins
Alexander Faller
Dan Carl


Major: Health Science Pre-Med

Project Advisor: Dan Carl

Abstract: Introduction: Recent research has shown that superior frontal gyrus medial area 9 (SFG9m) may play a role in motivation. Our study aimed to use unknown and known short-duration cycling trials to determine whether SFG9M is specifically involved with effort regulation. This is based on the premise that effort regulation demands would be greater during unknown duration trials. We hypothesized that unknown duration trials would elicit a greater oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) response in SFG9m than known trials. Methods: Participants performed a single-visit stationary cycling experiment comprised of 12 randomized trials of known vs unknown 10, 20, and 30 second bursts of maximal cycling speed. HbO2 response was measured using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) for SFG9m and five control regions. Subject number: 25 healthy adult participants. Results: The 20s unknown trial demonstrated a significant difference in activity in SFG9m compared to the known 20s trial. SFG9m was the only brain region significantly upregulated compared to the control regions. A significant difference in power output (W) was recorded during known and unknown 10s trials. However, this was not observed within the 20s and 30s trials. Conclusion: It was observed that SFG9m was significantly upregulated in 20s unknown trials, indicating the possibility of correlation between SFG9m and effort regulation during exercise. However, this effect was not found in the 10s and 30s trials. However, the lack of hypothesized effect for the 10 and 30s trials could suggest that the experimental conditions were not entirely successful at altering effort regulation. 

Article Details

Category: Innovation and Access
Author Biography

Sofia Buckley

Major: Health Sciences Pre-Med