Researchers scan cyclists' brains at race speed in S.Africa

May 23, 2011
Cyclists speed by during a race. Researchers in South Africa said they have found a way to measure the brain activity of cyclists at racing speed, breaking new ground in the study of how the brain works during exercise.

Researchers in South Africa said Monday they have found a way to measure the brain activity of cyclists at racing speed, breaking new ground in the study of how the brain works during exercise.

The University of Cape Town study used a specially designed (MRI) scanner to hold athletes' heads still while they lay horizontally inside and "cycled" on a set of pedals attached to a performance monitor.

The Brazilian-South African research team is still crunching data from the project, but said it promises to unlock new information about which control exercise and the relation between sports performance and the brain.

"Because of the difficulty of the project, technique, equipment and methodology, limited information is available in this area of exercise science research," said Elske Schabort, a postdoctoral fellow at the university's exercise science centre.

"The opportunity to be among the first to initiate such novel investigations will allow great progress in our work to try to understand and describe the involvement of brain and central nervous system during exercise and performance regulation."

A group of seven competitive cyclists were asked to lie inside the scanner and do a performance test.

The first results from the study should be out early next year, said Eduardo Fontes, a doctoral student at the University of Campinas in Brazil who designed the specially modified scanner.

Explore further: New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Protein sports drinks proven to give best performance

Dec 24, 2008

Sports drinks containing protein are better at improving athletes' performance. Research published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition has shown that drinks containing a mix ...

Heat acclimation benefits athletic performance

Oct 25, 2010

Turning up the heat might be the best thing for athletes competing in cool weather, according to a new study by human physiology researchers at the University of Oregon.

Recommended for you

'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in the brain

5 hours ago

At the Center for Brain Research at the MedUni Vienna an important factor for stress has been identified in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (Sweden). This is the protein secretagogin ...

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

Nov 26, 2014

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.