You are so overcome with fatigue and aching muscles after running 15 laps that you just want to lie down and rest. Blame a brain mechanism rather than your physical prowess that limits performance and ensures one's own limits are not exceeded, a study reveals.
The study led by neuro-psychologist Kai Lutz from the University of Zurich with Urs Boutellier from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, discovered neuronal (brain cell) processes reduce muscle activity during muscle-fatiguing exercise, the European Journal of Neuroscience reported.
The third and final part of this series of experiments, conducted by Lea Hilty, under Lutz, found that "the neuronal system not only informs the brain, but also actually has a regulating effect on motoric activity", said Hilty, according a university statement.
A motoric activity is a learned sequence of movements that combine to produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task.
"The findings are an important step in discovering the role the brain plays in muscle fatigue," Lutz added.