Article from: Runnersworld.com
Yep, that's what it looks like. The image comes from a new study from Romain Meeusen's group in Belgium, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. What does it mean? Well, that's a little trickier.
Efforts to map the brain in response to stimuli like exercise are still in their infancy, and it's always tempting to read too much into nice brain pictures where one spot magically lights up. For now, the main thing I find cool is simply that scientists are starting to do these experiments. I've written before about how hard it is, with things like ice baths, to separate the brain effects from the body effects. These new experiments offer a path to move from "it's (partly) in your head" to understanding exactly what's going on in your head.
This particular experiment was quite complex. Volunteers were asked to do 90 minutes of cycling in hot conditions (60 minutes at a constant load, then 30 minutes of time trial), then recovered for 60 minutes, then did another 12-minute time trial. They did this protocol on three different occasions, with either passive recovery, active recovery (easy cycling), or 15-C ice bath between the two time trials. Their brain activity was recorded with EEG before and after the first time trial, and again after the recovery.
The most interesting result was...
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