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Decision Making in Elite White-Water Athletes Paddling on a Kayak Ergometer

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Université de Provence & CNRS
  • | 2 University of Chichester
  • | 3 Pôle Espoir de Canoë-Kayak de Marseille and Fédération Française de Canoë-Kayak
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The present study investigated the effects of acute paddling on performance in a typical decision-making task. It was aimed at assessing whether the effects of moderate exercise can be replicated using the feet as response effectors when physical exercise essentially solicits upper-body muscles. Twelve national-level paddling athletes performed a Simon task while paddling at a moderate (75% of maximal heart rate, HRmax) and at very light (40% of HRmax) intensities. The results showed that the effects of moderate exercise can be generalized to exercises involving different response effectors and upper-body muscle groups. They suggest (1) that the activation-suppression hypothesis (Ridderinkhof, 2002) holds when the task is performed with the feet, and (2) that moderate exercise speeds up reaction time and impairs the suppression of direct response activation.

Davranche is with the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Université de Provence & CNRS, Marseille, France, and the Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences Department, University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, U.K. Paleresompoulle, Pernaud, and Hasbroucq are with the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Université de Provence & CNRS, Marseille, France. Labarelle is with the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Universite de Provence & CNRS, Marseille, France, and Pôle Espoir de Canoë-Kayak de Marseille, Fédération Française de Canoë-Kayak, Marseille, France.