Aerobic exercise, pain and motor learning

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Karsten Torvald Lawrence Rytman de Lange
4. semester, Sports Science, Master (Master Programme)
Multiple evidence suggests the importance of aerobic activity for cognitive and brain functions. Few studies however, have combined exercise with pain stimulation and motor learning in such a way as is the case for the present study. The objective of this study was to uncover causal relations between exercise and nociceptive stimulation, and to monitor said relations through novel motor learning. Background material spans from investigations of animal behavior in relation to exercise, pain and motor learning, to studies on humans that suggest causal conditions within the same field. There is evidence that suggests that exercise has acute analgesic effects, and in addition can promote motor learning. 21 healthy adults were divided into three groups, among whom two worked at high intensity on a bicycle ergometer and one worked at low intensity. Following the cycle regime they were all subject to cuff pressure pain stimulation for 5 min and then asked to complete 8 sets of novel motor learning finger tapping on a custom keyboard. After a 30 min break they completed a final retention test of the finger tapping task. Results revealed no significant correlations for completion time (p=0.144) or accuracy (p=0.950). The results suggest that there may be correlations between higher pain levels and lower ability to learn motor skills, but are non-conclusive.
Publication date2 Jul 2013
Number of pages24
ID: 78117468