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Modulation of attention and stress with arousal: The mental and physical effects of riding a motorcycle

Vaughn, Don A. and Maggiora, Michael B. and Vaughn, Kathryn J. and Maggiora, Christina J. and Tavakoli, Amir-Vala and Liang, William and Zava, David and Cohen, Mark S. and Lenartowicz, Agatha (2021) Modulation of attention and stress with arousal: The mental and physical effects of riding a motorcycle. Brain Research, 1752 . Art. No. 147203. ISSN 0006-8993.

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Existing theories suggest that moderate arousal improves selective attention, as would be expected in the context of competitive sports or sensation-seeking activities. Here we investigated how riding a motorcycle, an attention-demanding physical activity, affects sensory processing. To do so, we implemented the passive auditory oddball paradigm and measured the EEG response of participants as they rode a motorcycle, drove a car, and sat at rest. Specifically, we measured the N1 and mismatch negativity to auditory tones, as well as alpha power during periods of no tones. We investigated whether riding and driving modulated non-CNS metrics including heart rate and concentrations of the hormones epinephrine, cortisol, DHEA-S, and testosterone. While participants were riding, we found a decrease in N1 amplitude, increase in mismatch negativity, and decrease in relative alpha power, together suggesting enhancement of sensory processing and visual attention. Riding increased epinephrine levels, increased heart rate, and decreased the ratio of cortisol to DHEA-S. Together, these results suggest that riding increases focus, heightens the brain’s passive monitoring of changes in the sensory environment, and alters HPA axis response. More generally, our findings suggest that selective attention and sensory monitoring seem to be separable neural processes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Vaughn, Don A.0000-0001-8617-8317
Zava, David0000-0001-7558-8732
Cohen, Mark S.0000-0001-6731-4053
Lenartowicz, Agatha0000-0001-8015-8251
Additional Information:© 2020 Els.evier Received 27 March 2020, Revised 26 October 2020, Accepted 4 November 2020, Available online 19 January 2021. We thank Abdi Yusuf, and Dee Davis for assistance collecting the data. This work was funded by a grant from Harley-Davidson. Credit authorship contribution statement. Don A. Vaughn: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft. Michael B. Maggiora: Investigation, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision. Kathryn J. Vaughn: Project administration, Resources, Supervision. Christina J. Maggiora: Project administration, Resources, Supervision. Amir-Vala Tavakoli: Investigation. William Liang: Investigation. David Zava: Resources. Mark S. Cohen: Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodology, Resources, Supervision, Writing - original draft. Agatha Lenartowicz: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Harley-Davidson Motor CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:EEG; Motorcycling; Attention; Selective attention; Sensory processing; MMN; N1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210119-143307211
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Official Citation:Don A. Vaughn, Michael B. Maggiora, Kathryn J. Vaughn, Christina J. Maggiora, Amir-Vala Tavakoli, William Liang, David Zava, Mark S. Cohen, Agatha Lenartowicz, Modulation of attention and stress with arousal: The mental and physical effects of riding a motorcycle, Brain Research, Volume 1752, 2021, 147203, ISSN 0006-8993,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107556
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:20 Jan 2021 15:25
Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 15:25

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