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Original articles  NEUROPHYSIOLOGY


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 March;45(1):127-33

language: English

Supra-maximal effort and reaction and movement times in a non-compatible response time task

Mcmorris T. 1, Hill C. 1, Sproule J. 2, Potter J. 1, Swain J. 1, Hobson G. 1, Holder T. 1

1 Centre for Sports Science and Medicine University College Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, UK
2 Department of Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK


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Aim. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effect of attempting to exercise supra-maximally on reaction time and movement time in a non-compatible response time task.
Methods. Subjects (n=9) undertook a 4-choice non-compatible response time test at rest, while cycling at 70 rpm with a resistance of 35 W (low intensity exercise), cycling at 70% of their maximum power output (MPO), cycling at 100% MPO and attempting to cycle at 70 rpm, with a resistance that was 28 W greater than the resistance required to elicit MPO (supra-maximal effort).
Results. Reaction time, movement time, intra-individual variations in reaction time and movement time at each exercise intensity were compared by a series of repeated measures analyses of variance. A significant effect of exercise was shown for movement time, F4,32=6.05, p<0.001, η2=0.44, Power=0.97 and intra-individual variation in reaction time, F4,32=4.98, p<0.005, η2=0.38, Power=0.93. For movement time, Tukey post-hoc tests showed that performance at rest was significantly slower than that during exercise at 70%, 100% MPO and supra-maximal effort. Performance at low intensity exercise was significantly slower than that at MPO. For intra-individual variations in reaction time, Tukey tests found that variations under supra-maximal effort and MPO were significantly greater than those at low intensity and 70% MPO.
Conclusion. It was concluded that exercise facilitates speed of movement when the limbs used for the motor task are not the ones that are being exercised. Reaction time during maximal and supra-maximal exercise demonstrates large intra-individual variations.

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