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How Does Your Brain Process Feelings of Fatigue? (Bicycling)

THE FINDINGS MAY ADVANCE PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE IN THE FUTURE, RESEARCHERS SUGGEST.


Whether you’re inside on the trainer or outside for a road ride, that dreaded bonk moment—the one where you just can’t seem to power through—feels the same.


As it turns out, a part of that fatigue may be all in your head. And knowing exactly where it occurs in the brain could drive performance-boosting therapies in the future, according to a recent study in Nature Communications.


Researchers recruited 20 study participants and asked them to grasp and squeeze a sensor repeatedly, varying their level of effort from minimal to maximum force. Using data from MRI scans and computer modeling, they found that feelings of fatigue seem to arise from the motor cortex—the area of the brain responsible for controlling movement—according to study co-author Vikram Chib, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine...


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