Regional brain activation as a biological marker of affective responsivity to acute exercise: Influence of fitness

Steven J. Petruzzello, Eric E. Hall, Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has shown that regional brain activation, assessed via frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry, predicts affective responsivity to aerobic exercise. To replicate and extend this work, in the present study we examined whether resting brain activation was associated with affective responses to an acute bout of aerobic exercise and the extent to which aerobic fitness mediated this relationship. Participants (high-fit, n = 22; low/moderate-fit, n = 45) ran on a treadmill for 30 min at 75% VO2max, EEG and affect were assessed pre- and 0-, 10-, 20-, and 30-min postexercise. Resting EEG asymmetry predicted positive affect (as measured by the energetic arousal subscale of the Activation Deactivation Adjective Check List) postexercise, Furthermore, resting frontal EEG asymmetry predicted affect only in the high-fit group, suggesting the effect might be mediated by some factor related to fitness. It was also shown that subjects with relatively greater left frontal activation had significantly more energy (i,e., activated pleasant affect) following exercise than subjects with relatively greater right frontal activation. In Conclusion, aerobic fitness influenced the relationship between resting frontal asymmetry and exercise-related affective responsivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aerobic exercise
  • Affect
  • Brain activation
  • Fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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