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Leighton Jones, Costas I. Karageorghis, and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Theories suggest that external stimuli (e.g., auditory and visual) may be rendered ineffective in modulating attention when exercise intensity is high. We examined the effects of music and parkland video footage on psychological measures during and after stationary cycling at two intensities: 10% of maximal capacity below ventilatory threshold and 5% above. Participants (N = 34) were exposed to four conditions at each intensity: music only, video only, music and video, and control. Analyses revealed main effects of condition and exercise intensity for affective valence and perceived activation (p < .001), state attention (p < .05), and exercise enjoyment (p < .001). The music-only and music-and-video conditions led to the highest valence and enjoyment scores during and after exercise regardless of intensity. Findings indicate that attentional manipulations can exert a salient influence on affect and enjoyment even at intensities slightly above ventilatory threshold.

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Leighton Jones, Jasmin C. Hutchinson, and Elizabeth M. Mullin

Positive affective responses to exercise have been linked to longer-term adherence. The dual-mode model indicates that affective responses during heavy exercise (between the ventilatory threshold and the respiratory compensation point) are subject to interindividual variability (zone of response variability). Participants (N = 48) completed measures to assess personal characteristics prior to a graded exercise test. Responses to the Feeling Scale were recorded during the graded exercise test and subsequently used to group participants as either negative responders or neutral/positive responders to heavy exercise. Discriminant function analysis was applied, and a significant weighted linear composite predicted affective response. Preference for exercise intensity and sex were significant predictors (p = .003). Negative responders had lower preference scores and were more likely to be men. The combination of these two variables successfully predicted group membership 71% of the time. Individual differences appear relevant when examining affective responses to heavy exercise.

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Costas I. Karageorghis, Leighton Jones, Luke W. Howard, Rhys M. Thomas, Panayiotis Moulashis, and Sam J. Santich

The authors investigated the effects of respite–active music (i.e., music used for active recovery in between high-intensity exercise bouts) on psychological and psychophysiological outcomes. Participants (N = 24) made four laboratory visits for a habituation, medium- and fast-tempo music conditions, and a no-music control. A high-intensity interval-training protocol comprising 8 × 60-s exercise bouts at 100% W max with 90-s active recovery was administered. Measures were taken at the end of exercise bouts and recovery periods (rating of perceived exertion [RPE], state attention, and core affect) and then upon cessation of the protocol (enjoyment and remembered pleasure). Heart rate was measured throughout. Medium-tempo music enhanced affective valence during exercise and recovery, while both music conditions increased dissociation (only during recovery), enjoyment, and remembered pleasure relative to control. Medium-tempo music lowered RPE relative to control, but the heart rate results were inconclusive. As predicted, medium-tempo music, in particular, had a meaningful effect on a range of psychological outcomes.