Title –

The
effect of high intensity exercise on coincidence anticipation reaction time.

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Abstract –

Currently
multiple pieces of research investigate the factors effecting coincidence
anticipation time such as age, experience and arousal this article will look at
how high intensity exercise can effect the anticipation reaction time. There
are 15 participants in the study (14 Male and 1 Female) with an age range of
19-35 (21±4). The Bassin CAT LED test is used to determine pre-exercise and
post-exercise anticipation reaction times. The study uses a cycle ergometer to
enable participants to reach a THR90% (90% of Target Heart Rate). The
results show that the times taken to react to the stimulus were quicker before
taking part in high intensity exercise. This could conclude that there is a
negative effect between high intensity exercise and coincidence anticipation
reaction times.

 

Introduction –

Current
research into exercise intensity and anticipation is still inconclusive as
there are different results for whether there is a cause effect relationship.
Coincidence anticipation is the prediction of an action before it happens.
Anticipation is a key skill in sport as being able to predict an event before it
happens can help to prevent an opponent from being able to outwit you.
Participating in exercise increases arousal levels which have been identified
as being a factor that may increase coincidence anticipation reaction time.
Athletes will have different arousal levels to keep them at their peak
concentration. One theory of arousal is the inverted U theory which proposes
that as arousal increases so does performance until a point where over arousal
will deteriorate performance (Yerkes and Dodson, 1908.) When a performer
becomes aroused their alertness is increasing due to the increase of adrenaline
and the heart rate also starts to increase. As well as exercise being a
possible factor that affects anticipation reaction time, the other factors may
include, sex, age, experience and those playing sport and those who do not. A
study by Lyons et al., (2008) looked at the difference of the reaction time
between novice and expert Gaelic games the study found that the intensity of
exercise in novices does affect their anticipation time and there was no
significant difference in high intensity exercise for professionals.

Age has
also been another research area in relation to coincidence anticipation timing
and it was shown there was a difference in females and age as they got older
the anticipation timing decreased but there was no significant evidence amongst
males (Kuhlman et al 1992). The
following study by Duncan et al., (2014) shows how the catastrophe arousal
theory correctly predicts how coincidence anticipation will be altered
depending on levels of arousal.

In this
study the aim that will be being researched is does high intensity exercise effect
the time taken to predict the arrival of a LED light stimulus. The following
are the hypothesises of the study; There will be no difference in whether high
intensity exercise effects anticipation reaction time or There will be a no
difference in whether high intensity exercise effects anticipation reaction
time, at the end of the study a hypothesis will be accepted depending on what
is found.

 

Method –

The study used 15 Participants (14 male, 1 female, with a
mean age=21±4). The study used a repeated measures design because the
participants repeated the test twice, once before exercise and once after. Before
the main study can take place all the participants are weighed and measured and
this information along with their height and age are recorded. Participants are
then all instructed to practice the Bassin CAT test. The light runs at 10mph
with a two second cue delay and the objective is to stop the light when the LED
flashes at number 13. Participants are allowed 5 practices at the test so that
they all have the same experience of the test. The resting heart rate of all
participants is then taken using a polar heart rate monitor, this in then used to
determine their target heart rate when working at 90% maximum. This is done to
ensure all participants are working at the same rate. The THR90% is
calculated using the following formulae which is cited in Duncan et al., 2013
from (Karvonen, Kentala & Mustala, 1957)

The formulae is:

Target Heart Rate (THR)90% = 90%
of heart rate reserve

THR90% = HRrest + 0.9(HRmax – HRrest)

After
the target heart rate is calculated participants then start cycling on the
Monark cycle ergometer at a start work rate of 175 watts this is because the
participant needs to be cycling at 70 rates per minute with a resistance of
2.5kg. If after 3 minutes the participants are not at their THR90% then
the resistance needs to be increased in 0.5kg intervals. After 10 minutes of
high intensity exercise the Bassin CAT test is repeated and participants heart
rate is also recorded. They are then instructed to complete a 5 minute cool
down period of low intensity cycling to reduce the risk of harm to the
participants.

 

Results

The qualitative results from the pre-exercise
trial show that all the responses were early when anticipating the arrival
time. This was the same for the post-exercise trials.  The target thresholds of all participants was
calculated at a mean of 185.97±3.77, however the average maximum recorded heart
rate was 179±14.

The quantitative results are
shown in figure 1 below, the pre-exercise trial results ranged from 0.0136
seconds to 0.0946 seconds. This calculates at a mean of 0.0511±0.0221. The post
exercise results ranged from 0.018 – 0.253. With a mean of 0.0675±0.0566.  

 

Figure 1: Mean and SD of the time taken to
react to the Bassin CAT test

 

Discussion

After exploring the results, the study has
accepted the alternative hypothesis as there was a change in high intensity
exercise and the impact on coincidence anticipation reaction time. The results
in fig.1 have shown that the effect that high intensity exercise has on the
body could be the possible cause as to why coincidence anticipation times have
increased, making reactions slower. The figure also shows that in the
post-exercise trials the margin of error is a lot larger suggesting the data
set was a lot wider. A conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the
exercise had possibly decreased the alertness of some participants and not
others. This could link to a number of previous research articles the first
being Lyons et al., (2008) who
conducted a study on novice and expert performers. Although the group of
participants being studied here were not categorised into skill level the
results could explain that those who deviated a lot faster from the mean could
have been performers that have
experienced team sports for numerous years whereas those who take part in
individual sports could have the slower times. This could be because those who
take part in team sports generally have a larger sense of anticipation
awareness due to the number of people that they are competing with. Another piece
of research by Duncan et al., (2013)  looks
at intensity levels and the high intensity result found for those performing at
90% with the anticipation test at 8mp found a larger margin of error with is
similar to this study. When beginning to look at coincidence anticipation and
exercise arousal also appeared as a discussion point because when exercising it
is proven that arousal increases and the
Kamijo et al., (2004) study supports this and the Yerkes and Dodson.,
1908 inverted U arousal theory. Also in this study results can show that those
who did not perform as well in the post exercise task could have been over
aroused at a 90% max work rate and therefore their concentration and alertness
could have decreased. This may have also been a result of the neurones firing
either too often or too little due to a mix up of neural signals because of the
increases in chemical levels within the body. This would suggest that more
research would need to be carried out into both arousal and intensity levels
and how intensity levels alter coincidence anticipation time. This could be
adapted from a current study by Duncan et al. 2013 who already explored
intensity and found a difference in reaction times and the error that occurred due
to higher intensities and a quicker reaction test. 

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