Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Ten Brain Posts 2012: #3 Brain and Fatigue

Fatigue plays a key role in limiting athletic performance.  Athletes with superior control of the physiology of fatigue have a competitive advantage.

Fatigue with exertion has been felt to be primarily a peripheral phenomenon.  As muscles fatigue, peripheral lactic acid appears to limit continued exertion.

However, in the #3 rated Brain Post of 2012, I reviewed a summary of research showing the brain plays a key role in assessment of fatigue

This review found evidence for the brain insula playing a key role in the central assessment of fatigue.  The insula appears to be a key connection between motor and limbic brain areas of function including assess of fatigue.

The review suggests athletes with better brain control of fatigue may be able to better finish the final stages of competition.

Photo of Christmas ornament angel from the author's files. 

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