The neural mechanisms of re-experiencing physical fatigue sensation: a magnetoencephalography study
Ishii, A.; Tanaka, M.; Watanabe, Y.
Experimental Brain Research 234(9): 2433-2446
It has been hypothesized that fatigue sensation impairs the ability and efficiency to perform activities and can be a cause of fatigue itself. As such, it is important to clarify the neural mechanisms of fatigue sensation. The re-experiencing of mental fatigue sensation involves brain regions including Brodmann's area (BA) 40, BA 39, and the pulvinar nucleus. In the present study, we examined neural activity caused by re-experiencing a physical fatigue sensation that had been experienced. Fifteen healthy male volunteers participated in fatigue and control experiments in a crossover fashion. In the fatigue experiment, participants performed a handgrip task for 10 min to induce a physical fatigue sensation and then re-experienced the physical fatigue sensation during magnetoencephalography (MEG) session. In the control experiment, they did not perform the handgrip task but re-experienced the sensation without physical fatigue in an MEG session. Neural activity related to re-experiencing physical fatigue sensations of the right hand (right condition), left hand (left condition), and related to listening to the auditory cues (sound condition) was assessed using spatial filtering analyses of the MEG data. Changes in oscillatory band power in some brain regions, including BA 40, were common between the right and left conditions. A part of the neural activity related to the re-experiencing physical fatigue sensation, such as the decrease in alpha (8-13 Hz) band power in the BA 40, was also observed in the sound condition. These findings may help to understand the neural mechanisms related to intentionally and unintentionally re-experiencing physical fatigue sensation.