AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Stimulating the Brain Makes Exercising the Legs Feel Easier

Research led by the University of Kent shows stimulation of the brain impacts on endurance exercise performance by decreasing perception of effort. The study examined the effect of a technique called transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, on the neuromuscular, phsiological and perceptual responses to exhaustive leg exercise. Researchers led by Dr. Lex Mauger from Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences found that tDCS delayed exhaustion of the leg muscles by an average of 15 percent during an exercise task, and that this was likely caused by the participants feeling less effort during the exercise. However, tDCS elicited no significant effect on the neuromuscular response to exercise. 

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