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The Effect of Think Aloud on Performance and Brain Oxygenation During Cycling – an Exploratory Study

Whitehead, AE, Montgomery, C, Swettenham, L and Robinson, N (2022) The Effect of Think Aloud on Performance and Brain Oxygenation During Cycling – an Exploratory Study. Perceptual and Motor Skills. ISSN 0031-5125

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In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of Think Aloud (TA) on performance in trained and untrained participants, using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), during incrementally paced cycling. A mixed design was implemented with cycling expertise (10 untrained vs. 9 trained) as the between groups variable and trial stage (5 stages of increasing effort), and condition (silent vs. TA) as within groups independent variables (IVs). Dependent measures were changes in cortical oxygenation (O2Hb) in 12 areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and physiological indicators of percentage heart rate maximum (%HRmax), average power output (APO), peak power output (PPO), rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate ([La]b) over time. Trained cyclists had higher APO and significantly higher PPO from stages 2 to 5, in addition to a greater increase in PPO over the duration of the test (range 168W-480W vs. 133W-313W). There were significant main effects of stage on %HRmax, Bla and RPE (p<.001), with effect sizes (ήp2) ranging from .31 to .97. On average, HRmax%, [La]b and RPE were significantly lower after stage 2 onwards within the TA trial than the silent trial, even though similar power outputs were obtained. Thus, the TA trial elicited a better pacing strategy. There was no main effect of group on changes in O2Hb, though O2Hb did change as a function of stage in four areas of the PFC, and as a function of condition in one area. In this first study to assess the effects of TA on performance during self-paced cycling, TA did not disrupt performance outcomes at low through to high levels of physical exertion for either untrained or trained participants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sport Sciences; 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 10:33
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 08:30
DOI or ID number: /10.1177/00315125221104769
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16798
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