About Sean Nicolle
I have my PhD in Exercise Physiology, from the University of Miami, with psychology/neuroscience as outside supporting field (I also did my Masters in Psychology at Boston College).
Impact of Dance Complexity on Computer-Based and Movement-Based Cognitive Performance (Dissertation)
BACKGROUND: Exercise improves cognition, but the specific mechanisms underlying these changes are not clear. Two proposed mechanism are aerobic demand and cognitive demand inherent in varying degrees to specific exercise tasks. This study compared two kinds of dance that differed in instruction complexity and aerobic intensity, ballroom (BR) and aerobic dance (Aero). The primary aim of this study was to determine if the cognitive benefits of exercise are more responsive to the complexity or aerobic overload. METHODS: Fourteen subjects aged 40-80 were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of Aero or BR dance classes. Aero classes were designed to emphasize low instructional complexity and high aerobic intensity. BR classes were designed to emphasize high complexity and low aerobic intensity. Motor and cognitive functions were assessed before and after participation. The six-minute walk (6MW) and timed up-and-go (TUG )were used to measure aerobic function and agility, respectively. A computer-based cognitive battery (Neurotrax Tests) was used to evaluate global cognitive function, executive function, attention, and memory. The Walking Response Inhibition Test (WRIT) was used to evaluate cognition using whole-body movements through a physical environment. RESULTS: Significant main effects for time were observed for 6MW, TUG, memory, and WRIT. Performance for the 6MW, memory, and WRIT improved, whereas TUG performance worsened. Although neither group exhibited significant change in the 6MW; there was an interaction effect and subsequent pairwise analysis revealed that the change seen for Aero was higher than BR. CONCLUSION: We observed differences in aerobic demand between the groups, with greater, though non-significant, aerobic response by the Aero group. There were improvements in both memory and WRIT for both groups. Improvements in WRIT favored the BR group compared to the Aero group, although between group differences failed to reach significance. Our preliminary data suggest a role for both aerobic demand and movement complexity in driving cognitive adaptations. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to support these findings. Future research should control the complexity of the exercise conditions and assess the learning effects and cognitive demand of the subjects.
What if we didn’t see our pain as an antagonistic villain, but as a teacher and friend; not as an enemy to be avoided, but a partner in crime? This article provides a map for reshaping our relationship to pain. It is a map providing you reference points within a complex territory. The goal is not that you walk away with some information you can store in your back pocket for trivia night, but that you have the understanding for thinking critically and deeply about pain & injury, for knowing what kinds of questions to ask inside of this territory.
Introduction Ballistic stretching (BS) improves range of motion and performance but has been criticized as increasing risk of injury. However, increased risk of injury with BS has not been demonstrated, and no literature review of the topic exists to date. The purpose of this review is to examine the literature to find controlled studies reporting injuries with ballistic stretching and, where possible, compare them to static stretching injury rates. Methods A literature review was performed in Pubmed and Sportdiscus. Studies from published journals were included if they included a ballistic stretching condition which specifically stated that there was bouncing at end range of motion. Results 11 studies were found that met the inclusion criteria. None directly evaluated of injury risk of BS. Out of 11 papers, 8 failed to report injuries, 1 reported that BS had no effect on DOMS or injury, 1 reported the same injury rate between BS and control, and 1 provided incomplete information. Conclusion Insufficient evidence exists to recommend against BS. Given the benefits of BS, future research should be conducted.