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Roy J. Shephard

Autonomic dysreflexia is a common response to painful stimuli following high level spinal injuries. Loss of normal control of sympathetic reflexes leads to large increases in blood pressure, accompanied by headache and occasional more dangerous sequelae. Although now officially banned, intentional dysreflexia ("boosting") is still exploited by some competitors to gain an unfair advantage. It is thus important to consider physiological mechanisms, consequences for health and performance, and methods of controlling this abuse. Boosters perceive the practice as frequent, performance enhancing, and of low immediate risk. Effective methods of eliminating the practice may include more stringent control of competitors, evaluating and publicizing short-and long-term risks, and countering arguments that boosting is an ethically acceptable method of restoring a normal physiological response.

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Owen Spendiff and Ian G. Campbell

Eight men with spinal cord injury ingested glucose (CHO) or placebo (PLA) 20-min prior to exercise. Participants performed arm crank ergometry for one-hour at 65% V̇O2peak, followed by a 20-min performance test in which athletes were asked to achieve their greatest possible distance. Physiological responses during the one-hour tests were similar between CHO and PLA trials. At the onset of exercise, the CHO trial blood glucose concentrations were higher than PLA (p < .05) but returned to resting values after 20-min exercise. Respiratory exchange ratio responses during the CHO trial were indicative of a higher rate of CHO oxidation (p < .05). A greater distance (km) was covered in the 20-min performance tests after CHO ingestion (p < .05). Results show preingestion of glucose improves endurance performance of wheelchair athletes.

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Peter J. Lang

Emotions are organized around 2 basic motivational systems, appetitive and defensive, that evolved from primitive neural circuits in the mammalian brain. The appetitive system is keyed for approach behavior, founded on the preservative, sexual, and nurturant reflexes that underlie pleasant affects; the defense system is keyed for withdrawal, founded on protective and escape reflexes that underlie unpleasant affects. Both systems control attentional processing: Distal engagement by motive-relevant cues prompts immobility and orienting. With greater cue proximity (e.g., predator or prey imminence), neural motor centers supercede, determining overt defensive or consummatory action. In humans, these systems determine affective expression, evaluation behavior, and physiological responses that can be related to specific functional changes in the brain. This theoretical approach is illustrated with psychophysiological and brain imagery studies in which human subjects respond to emotional picture stimuli.

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Thomas W. Rowland

Performance in all forms of motor activity related to sport performance improves progressively during the course of the childhood years as a consequence of normal growth and development. Whether (a) sport training can accelerate and ultimately enhance this biological development and (b) the existence of certain ages when training might prove to be more effective in improving performance, particularly early in childhood, remains uncertain. Physiological adaptations to endurance training in prepubertal children (improvements in maximal oxygen uptake) are dampened compared with adults, but enhancements of strength following resistance training are equally effective at all ages. The extent that intensive training regimens characteristic of early sport specialization in children can trigger physiological and performance adaptations may therefore depend on the form of exercise involved. Clearly, additional research is needed to enhance the understanding of the physiological responses to intensive sport training in prepubertal individuals.

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Sarah E. Williams, Jennifer Cumming and George M. Balanos

The present study investigated whether imagery could manipulate athletes’ appraisal of stress-evoking situations (i.e., challenge or threat) and whether psychological and cardiovascular responses and interpretations varied according to cognitive appraisal of three imagery scripts: challenge, neutral, and threat. Twenty athletes (M age = 20.85; SD = 1.76; 10 female, 10 male) imaged each script while heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output were obtained using Doppler echocardiography. State anxiety and self-confidence were assessed following each script using the Immediate Anxiety Measures Scale. During the imagery, a significant increase in heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output occurred for the challenge and threat scripts (p < .05). Although there were no differences in physiological response intensities for both stress-evoking scripts, these responses, along with anxiety symptoms, were interpreted as facilitative during the challenge script and debilitative during the threat script. Results support using imagery to facilitate adaptive stress appraisal.

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Kamuran Yerlikaya Balyan, Serdar Tok, Arkun Tatar, Erdal Binboga and Melih Balyan

The present study examined the association between personality, competitive anxiety, somatic anxiety and physiological arousal in athletes with high and low anxiety levels. Anxiety was manipulated by means of an incentive. Fifty male participants, first, completed the Five Factor Personality Inventory and their resting electro dermal activity (EDA) was recorded. In the second stage, participants were randomly assigned to high or low anxiety groups. Individual EDAs were recorded again to determine precompetition physiological arousal. Participants also completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and played a computer-simulated soccer match. Results showed that neuroticism was related to both CSAI-2 components and physiological arousal only in the group receiving the incentive. Winners had higher levels of cognitive anxiety and lower levels of physiological arousal than losers. On the basis of these findings, we concluded that an athlete’s neurotic personality may influence his cognitive and physiological responses in a competition.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

We examined the reproducibility of performance and physiological responses on a squash-specific incremental test.

Methods:

Eight trained squash players habituated to procedures with two prior visits performed an incremental squash test to volitional exhaustion on two occasions 7 days apart. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( Vo2) and heart rate were determined continuously using a portable telemetric system. Blood lactate concentration at the end of 4-min stages was assessed to determine lactate threshold. Once threshold was determined, test speed was increased every minute until volitional exhaustion for assessment of maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), maximum heart rate (HRmax), and performance time. Economy was taken as the 60-s mean of Vo2 in the final minute of the fourth stage (below lactate threshold for all participants). Typical error of measurement (TEM) with associated 90% confidence intervals, limits of agreement, paired sample t tests, and least products regression were used to assess the reproducibility of scores.

Results:

Performance time (TEM 27 s, 4%, 90% CI 19 to 49 s) Vo2max (TEM 2.4 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.7%, 90% CI 1.7 to 4.3 mL·kg−1·min−1), maximum heart rate (TEM 2 beats·min−1, 1.3%, 90% CI 2 to 4 beats·min−1), and economy (TEM 1.6 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.1%, 90% CI 1.1 to 2.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) were reproducible.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that endurance performance and physiological responses to a squash-specific fitness test are reproducible.

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Brian Klucinec, Craig Denegar and Rizwan Mahmood

During the administration of therapeutic ultrasound, the amount of pressure at the sound head-tissue interface may affect the physiological response to and the outcome of treatment. Speed of sonification; size of the treatment area; frequency, intensity, and type of wave; and coupling media are important parameters in providing the patient with an appropriate ultrasound treatment. Pressure variations affect ultrasound transmissivity, yet pressure differences have been virtually unexplored. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of sound head pressure on acoustic transmissivity. Three trials were conducted whereby pig tissue was subjected to increased sound head pressures using manufactured weights. The weights were added in 100 g increments, starting with 200 g and finishing with 1,400 g. Increased pressure on the transmitting transducer did affect acoustic transmissivity; acoustic energy transmission was increased from 200 g (0.44 lb) up to and optimally at 600 g (1.32 lb). However, there was decreased transmissivity from 700 to 1, 400 g (1.54 to 3.00 lb).

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Gi Broman, Miguel Quintana, Margareta Engardt, Lennart Gullstrand, Eva Jansson and Lennart Kaijser

The aim of the study was to examine submaximal and maximal physiological responses and perceived exertion during deep-water running with a vest compared with the responses during treadmill running in healthy elderly women. Eleven healthy women 70 ± 2 years old participated. On two different occasions they performed a graded maximal exercise test on a treadmill on land and a graded maximal exercise test in water wearing a vest. At maximal work the oxygen uptake was 29% lower (p < .05), the heart rate was 8% lower (p < .05), and the ventilation was 16% lower (p < .05) during deep-water running than during treadmill running. During submaximal absolute work the heart rate was higher during deep-water running than during treadmill running for the elderly women. The participants had lower maximal oxygen uptake, heart rate, ventilation, respiratory-exchange ratio, and rate of perceived exertion during maximal deep-water running with a vest than during maximal treadmill running. These responses were, however, higher during submaximal deep-water running than during treadmill running.

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Philip R. Hayes, Kjell van Paridon, Duncan N. French, Kevin Thomas and Dan A. Gordon

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to develop a laboratory-based treadmill simulation of the on-course physiological demands of an 18-hole round of golf and to identify the underlying physiological responses.

Methods:

Eight amateur golfers completed a round of golf during which heart rate (HR), steps taken, and global positioning system (GPS) data were assessed. The GPS data were used to create a simulated discontinuous round on a treadmill. Steps taken and HR were recorded during the simulated round.

Results:

During the on-course round, players covered a mean (±SD) of 8,251 ± 450 m, taking 12,766 ± 1,530 steps. The mean exercise intensity during the on-course round was 31.4 ± 9.3% of age-predicted heart rate reserve (%HRR) or 55.6 ± 4.4% of age-predicted maximum HR (%HRmax). There were no significant differences between the simulated round and the on-course round for %HRR (P = .537) or %HR max (P = .561) over the entire round or for each individual hole. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the two rounds for steps taken. Typical error values for steps taken, HR, %HRmax, and %HRR were 1,083 steps, ±7.6 b·min-1, ±4.5%, and ±8.1%, respectively.

Conclusion:

Overall, the simulated round of golf successfully recreated the demands of an on-course round. This simulated round could be used as a research tool to assess the extent of fatigue during a round of golf or the impact of various interventions on golfers.