The role of the brain in mental and physical fatigue (WEAVE)

Project Details


Fatigue –tiredness, exhaustion- describes a physical and/or mental
state of being tired and lack of energy. There is a wide range of
causes of fatigue such as medical conditions, life-style or work-space
related issues, but also emotional concerns and stress. Fatigue
occurring during exercise consists of a complex interaction between
peripheral (muscle) and central (central nervous system) aspects.
There is an important role for the brain (neurotransmission) in
exercise-induced fatigue, but at the same time there is a lack of
evidence on what that role is, and how this could be mechanistically
explained. Also mental fatigue resides from the brain, but little is
known about its mechanisms.
In this project we want to determine how (mechanistically) and where
(location in the brain) fatigue resides. To do this we will manipulate
brain neurotransmission (serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline)
and we will determine which brain regions play an important role in
the onset of physical (WP1) and mental (WP2) fatigue through the
measurement of brain activity with electroencephalography (EEG). In
the final stage (WP3) we will combine both forms of fatigue to
determine which cortical areas and neurotransmitters are potentially
involved in the negative effects of mental fatigue on the perception of
effort and endurance performance. The present project progresses
on the current knowledge to further unravel the complex central
triggers of fatigue during mental and/or physical effort.
Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/25


  • fatigue
  • brain neurotransmission
  • brain activit

Flemish discipline codes

  • Exercise physiology
  • Human movement and sports sciences not elsewhere classified
  • Other pharmaceutical sciences not elsewhere classified
  • Sports sciences