The contribution of neuroscience to exercise studies.
Recent advances in neuroscience have resulted in theoretical and technological developments and a substantial data base that provide new opportunities for those involved in exercise studies. The scope of opportunities available as a result of these advances is explored in brief reviews of four areas of inquiry: phase- and state-dependent reflexes; the effects of motor activity on neuronal responses to injury; the orderly recruitment of motor units; and fatigue. Within the framework of a tripartite neural control model, an examination of the extent of our knowledge on fatigue revealed two features. First, although numerous failure sites have been identified as potential contributors to the force reduction of fatigue, little is known about the relative significance of these failure sites in everyday activity. Second, technical developments have made it feasible to address the central nervous system aspects of fatigue on a cellular basis.