Incremental Exercise, Plasma Concentrations of Catecholamines, Reaction Time, and Motor Time during Performance of a Noncompatible Choice Response Time Task

Terry McMorris, Mark Tallon, Craig Williams, John Sproule, Steve Draper, Jon Swain, Julia Potter, Neville Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

32 Citations (Scopus)


The primary purpose was to examine the effect of incremental exercise on a noncompatible response time task. Participants (N=9) undertook a 4-choice noncompatible response time task under 3 conditions, following rest and during exercise at 70% and 100% of their maximum power output. Reaction and movement times were the dependent variables. Maximum power output had been previously established on an incremental test to exhaustion. A repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance yielded a significant effect of exercise intensity on the task, observation of the separate univariate repeated-measures analyses of variance showed that only movement time was significantly affected. Post hoc Tukey tests indicated movement time during maximal intensity exercise was significantly faster than in the other two conditions. The secondary purpose of the study was to assess whether increases in plasma concentrations of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline during exercise and power output would act as predictor variables of reaction and movement times during exercise. Catecholamine concentrations were based on venous blood samples taken during the maximum power output test. None of the variables were significant predictors of reaction time. Only power output was a significant predictor of movement time (R2 = .24). There was little support for the notion that peripheral concentrations of catecholamines directly induce a central nervous system response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-604
Number of pages15
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


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