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Benoît R. Gonzales, Vincent Hagin, Peter W. Dowrick and Alain Groslambert

This study assessed whether cognitive stimulations could improve running performance. Nine trained men (22.6 ± 2.1 years old) performed four tests of stamina i) a control test (CT) at 100% of maximal aerobic velocity without any specific attention instructions, ii) a video self modeling test filmed from behind (VB), where runners attended to a video-loop of themselves, iii) a video self modeling test filmed from the front (VF), and iv) a video of landscapes (VL) with music. The results revealed a significant increase (p = .004) of stamina in all video conditions: VB (235 ± 59 s); VF (229 ± 53 s); VL (242 ± 57 s), compared with CT (182 ± 33 s). The results showed that the oxygen consumption was significantly lower (p = .02) in VB. Two distinct processes could explain these results including the active role of mirror neurons and the influence of music.