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Regional brain activation and affective response to physical activity among healthy adolescents


Research has shown that frontal brain activation, assessed via electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry, predicts the post-exercise affective response to exercise among adults. Building on this evidence, the present study investigates the utility of resting cortical asymmetry for explaining variance in the affective response both during and after exercise at two different intensities among healthy adolescents. Resting EEG was obtained from 98 adolescents (55% male), who also completed two 30-min exercise tasks on a cycle ergometer at a moderate and hard intensity. Affect (as measured by the Feeling Scale) was assessed prior to exercise, every 10min during exercise, immediately post-exercise, and 10min post-exercise. When moderate exercise was performed first, resting frontal cortical asymmetry was related to the affective response to moderate exercise, such that left-dominant adolescents reported more positive affect compared to right-dominant adolescents. When hard exercise was performed first, the association was not significant. The results are interpreted in light of current theory related to affect in response to exercise.

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