In this study, researchers asked 37 male endurance athletes to either continue their usual training or increase their training by 40% a session over a three-week period. Using functional MRIs, the research team observed that athletes who exerted themselves to the point of exhaustion showed reduced activity in an area of the brain vital for making decisions.
Furthermore, these participants appeared more impulsive in tests that evaluated financial decision-making, choosing immediate rewards instead of larger ones that would take greater time to achieve.
The findings show that despite the benefits of endurance sports, excessive training can have negative effects on the brain. Current Biology, September 2019
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