Fatigue related impairments in oculomotor control are prevented by caffeine

Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Claffey, Michael P.; Duncan, Shelley; Kuhn, Gustav and Gant, Nicholas. 2016. Fatigue related impairments in oculomotor control are prevented by caffeine. Scientific Reports, 6, 26614. ISSN 2045-2322 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Strenuous exercise can result in an inability of the central nervous system to drive skeletal muscle e ectively, a phenomenon known as central fatigue. The impact of central fatigue on the oculomotor system is currently unexplored. Fatigue that originates in the central nervous system may be related to perturbations in the synthesis and metabolism of several neurotransmitters. In this study we examine central fatigue in the oculomotor system after prolonged exercise. The involvement of central neurotransmission was explored by administering ca eine during exercise. Within a double- blind, randomized, repeated measures, crossover design, 11 cyclists consumed a placebo or ca eine solution during 180 min of stationary cycling. Saccadic eye movements were measured using infra-red oculography. Exercise decreased saccade velocity by 8% (placebo trial). This e ect was reversed by ca eine, whereby velocity was increased by 11% after exercise. A non oculomotor perceptual task (global motion processing) was una ected by exercise. The human oculomotor system is impaired by strenuous exercise of the locomotor system. Ca eine exerts a protective e ect on oculomotor control, which could be related to up-regulated central neurotransmission. In addition, cortical processes supporting global motion perception appear to be robust to fatigue.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Neurophysiology, Saccades

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4 May 2016Accepted
25 May 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2017 15:31

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:04

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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