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Title: The 'sensory tolerance limit': A hypothetical construct determining exercise performance?
Authors: Hureau, TJ
Romer, LM
Amann, M
Keywords: Central command;Exercise limitation;Fatigue;Muscle afferent feedback;Performance
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: European Journal of Sport Science, (2016)
Abstract: Neuromuscular fatigue compromises exercise performance and is determined by central and peripheral mechanisms. Interactions between the two components of fatigue can occur via neural pathways, including feedback and feedforward processes. This brief review discusses the influence of feedback and feedforward mechanisms on exercise limitation. In terms of feedback mechanisms, particular attention is given to group III/IV sensory neurons which link limb muscle with the central nervous system. Central corollary discharge, a copy of the neural drive from the brain to the working muscles, provides a signal from the motor system to sensory systems and is considered a feedforward mechanism that might influence fatigue and consequently exercise performance. We highlight findings from studies supporting the existence of a ‘critical threshold of peripheral fatigue’, a previously proposed hypothesis based on the idea that a negative feedback loop operates to protect the exercising limb muscle from severe threats to homeostasis during whole-body exercise. While the threshold theory remains to be disproven within a given task, it is not generalizable across different exercise modalities. The ‘sensory tolerance limit’, a more theoretical concept, may address this issue and explain exercise tolerance in more global terms and across exercise modalities. The ‘sensory tolerance limit’ can be viewed as a negative feedback loop which accounts for the sum of all feedback (locomotor muscles, respiratory muscles, organs, muscles not directly involved in exercise) and feedforward signals processed within the central nervous system with the purpose of regulating the intensity of exercise to ensure that voluntary activity remains tolerable.
ISSN: 1746-1391
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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