MENTAL FATIGUE IMPAIRS SPORT-SPECIFIC REACTION TIME.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)

Abstract

Introduction
Recent research has reported that mental fatigue impairs manual dexterity and slip anticipation. Therefore we sought to examine the
effect of a mentally fatiguing task on motor-reaction time (M-RT) performance.
Methods
A M-RT task was developed with Fitlight-hardware and -software in order to evaluate the effect of mental fatigue on simple and response
inhibition stimuli and on stimuli in the central and peripheral visual field. In the M-RT task, pads 1 up to 7 would aluminate randomly one
after the other in the color red, green, yellow or blue. If a pad lighted up in red, green or yellow participants had to react forward (simple
stimuli). If a pad lighted up in blue, participants had to put out the pad behind them (8; response inhibition stimuli). Eleven untrained
healthy subjects (age: 25 ± 4y; 6 female, 5 male) performed two experimental trials in a randomized crossover order. Participants first
completed a baseline M-RT task (~6min30sec), followed by a Flanker task. Next they performed either a 90min mentally fatiguing task
(Stroop task; MF) or watched a 90min documentary (CON). Immediately thereafter again the Flanker task and the M-RT task were completed.
Accuracy (ACC) and reaction time (RT) were followed up in all tasks but the documentary. In addition physiological and psychological
measures were assessed during the protocol. Repeated measures ANOVA’s were used to analyze the data.
Results
ACC on both the Stroop (p=0.021) and the Flanker task (~3%; p=0.048) decreased over time in MF. Participants got faster over time on the
Stroop task in MF (p≤0.004). RT on the Flanker task did not change over time in both MF and CON. Subjectively, higher (p=0.001) mental
fatigue was perceived in MF compared to CON. Concerning the M-RT-performance, no effects were observed for the simple stimuli. For
the response inhibition-stimuli, only in MF the participants became significantly slower in time (~7.5%; p=0.007).
Discussion and Conclusion
Mental fatigue negatively affects sport-specific response inhibition-RT. Therefore, besides endurance capacity, sport-specific cognition
also appears to be impaired by mental fatigue. The impairment in RT was independent from the visual-field position of the stimulus and
was not perceived by the participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-515
Number of pages1
JournalEUROPEAN COLLEGE OF SPORT SCIENCE
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventECSS MetropolisRuhr 2017 - Messe Essen, Essen, Germany
Duration: 5 Jul 20178 Jul 2017

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