Acute Affective Responses and Frontal Electroencephalographic Asymmetry to Prescribed and Self-selected Exercise

Eduardo Lattari1, Eduardo Portugal2, 3, Renato Sobral Monteiro Junior4, Bruno Ribeiro Ramalho Oliveira2, Tony Meireles Santos5, Gioia Mura6, Federica Sancassiani6, Eric Murillo-Rodriguez7, 11, Oscar Arias-Carrión8, 11, Henning Budde9, 11, Nuno Barbosa Rocha10, 11, Sérgio Machado1, 11, *
1 Laboratory of Physical Activity Neuroscience, Physical Activity Sciences Post-Graduate Program (PGCAF), Salgado de Oliveira University, Niteroi, Brazil; Laboratory of Panic & Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, IPUB/UFRJ, RJ, Brazil
3 Neuroscience Laboratory of Exercise, UERJ, RJ, Brazil
4 Doctoral Program in Neurology - Neurosciences, Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil
5 Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
6 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Italy
7 Laboratorio de Neurociencias Moleculares e Integrativas, Escuela de Medicina División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Mérida, Yucatán, México; Grupo de Investigación en Envejecimiento, División Ciencias de la Salud Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Mérida, Yucatán, México
8 Unidad de Trastornos de Movimiento y Sueño, Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea Gonzalez, Secretaria de Salud México DF, México
9 Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Pedagogy, Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland; Lithuanian Sport University, Kaunas, Lithuania
10 Polytechnic Institute of Porto, School of Allied Health Sciences, Portugal
11 Intercontinental Neuroscience Research Group, Mexico

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© Lattari et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Tel: +55 21 35817890; Fax: +55 21 35817890; E-mail:



Our goal was to compare affective responses and frontal electroencephalographic alpha asymmetry induced by prescribed exercise (PE) and self-selected exercise (SS).


Twenty active participants underwent a submaximal exercise test to estimate maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). Participants enrolled a cross-over randomized study where each participant completed three conditions: PE (50%PVO2max), SS and Control. The electroencephalography was performed before and after exercise. The feeling scale, felt arousal scale and heart rate were recorded before, during and after each condition. The ratings of perceived exertion were recorded during and after each condition.


The heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion showed higher values in the PE and SS conditions compared to controls, with no differences between the PE and SS conditions. For the feeling scale, the SS presented higher values compared to the PE and Control conditions. The felt arousal scale presented higher values in the PE and SS conditions compared to control. There was no interaction between condition and moment, or main effect for condition and moment for frontal alpha asymmetry (InF4-InF3).


The SS provided better affective responses compared to PE, thus can consider self-selected intensity as an appropriate option. In general, no frontal alpha asymmetry was seen due to an exercise intervention.

Keywords: Affective response, Frontal EEG asymmetry, Prescribed exercise, Self-selected exercise.