Purpose We have reported using near-infrared spectroscopy that an increase in prefrontal oxygenated-hemoglobin concen- tration (Oxy-Hb) at the start of cycling exercise has relation to central command, defined as a feedforward signal descend- ing from higher brain centers. The final output of central command evokes the exercise effort-dependent cardiovascular responses. If the prefrontal cortex may output the final signal of central command toward the autonomic nervous system, the prefrontal oxygenation should increase depending on exercise effort. To test the hypothesis, we investigated the effects of exercise intensity and muscle mass on prefrontal oxygenation in 13 subjects. Methods The subjects performed one- or two-legged cycling at various relative intensities for 1 min. The prefrontal Oxy-Hb and cardiovascular variables were simultaneously measured during exercise. Results The increase in cardiac output and the decrease in total peripheral resistance at the start of one- and two-legged cycling were augmented in proportion to exercise intensity and muscle mass recruitment. The prefrontal Oxy-Hb increased at the start of voluntary cycling, while such increase was not developed during passive cycling. Mental imagery of cycling also increased the prefrontal Oxy-Hb, concomitantly with peripheral muscle vasodilatation. However, the increase in prefrontal Oxy-Hb at the start of voluntary cycling seemed
European Journal of Applied Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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