The role of brain catecholamines in exercise-induced fatigue Event as iCalendar


05 April 2017

9:30 - 10:30am

Venue: Room 731.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus

Location: 261 Morrin Road, St Johns, Auckland

Contact email:

Department of Exercise Sciences PhD Thesis Research Seminar

Speaker: Charlotte Joy Waikauri Connell, PhD Candidate


Little is known about fatigue that originates within the brain during exercise, but this phenomenon may be related to the signalling chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. The objective of my thesis was to examine the role these neurotransmitters play in central fatigue by manipulating their availability with psychiatric drugs & nutritional interventions.

Uniquely, brain fatigue was assessed by measuring the kinematics of eye movements. The oculomotor system is functionally independent of the corticospinal movement system and is not directly challenged during stationary cycling. We found that the velocity of rapid eye movements decreases with exercise, demonstrating that prolonged use of the skeletal motor system can alter certain functions of the oculomotor system. Drugs that increase the availability of central catecholamines, including caffeine, prevent these impairments. These outcomes are important because slower eye movements could affect performance in sports and occupations that demand high-speed acquisition of visual information. The research also improves our understanding of the actions of dietary stimulants and drugs that treat monoamine imbalances.

Map and location of Tāmaki Innovation Campus