Regional brain activity and strenuous exercise: Predicting affective responses using EEG asymmetry

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research using the model proposed by Davidson has shown that resting frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry can predict affective responses to aerobic exercise at moderate intensities. Specifically, greater relative left frontal activity has been shown to predict positive affect (i.e., energy) following exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine if resting frontal EEG asymmetry would predict affective responses following strenuous exercise. Thirty participants (13 women, 17 men) completed a maximal graded exercise test on a treadmill. EEG was recorded prior to exercise. Affect was measured by the Activation Deactivation Adjective Check List prior to the graded exercise test, immediately following, 10 and 20-min following exercise. Greater relative left frontal activity predicted tiredness and calmness during recovery from exercise, but not tension or energy. Tiredness and calmness following exercise covaried, suggesting that tiredness following exercise might not have been linked with displeasure. These findings offer further support for the link between EEG asymmetry and affective responses to exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Affect
  • EEG
  • Exercise
  • Frontal asymmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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