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Evidence for complex system integration and dynamic neural regulation of skeletal muscle recruitment during exercise in humans
  1. A St Clair Gibson,
  2. T D Noakes
  1. Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr St Clair Gibson
 University of Cape Town, Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sports Science of South Africa, P O Box 115, Newlands 7725, South Africa;


A model is proposed in which the development of physical exhaustion is a relative rather than an absolute event and the sensation of fatigue is the sensory representation of the underlying neural integrative processes. Furthermore, activity is controlled as part of a pacing strategy involving active neural calculations in a “governor” region of the brain, which integrates internal sensory signals and information from the environment to produce a homoeostatically acceptable exercise intensity. The end point of the exercise bout is the controlling variable. This is an example of a complex, non-linear, dynamic system in which physiological systems interact to regulate activity before, during, and after the exercise bout.

  • EMG, electromyographic
  • IEMG, integrated electromyographic
  • MVC, maximal voluntary contraction
  • teleoanticipation
  • fatigue
  • brain
  • neural recruitment
  • pacing strategies

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