The sympathetic skin response habituation in sedentary subjects and sportsmen
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the habituation rates of the sympathetic skin response (SSR) in sedentary subjects and trained sportsmen. A total of 52 voluntary male students (30 sedentary subjects and 22 trained sportsmen) participated in the experiment. SSR was recorded with the contralateral electrical stimulation of the ulnar nerve (of the upper extremities). In order to initiate the SSRs, 16 square-wave consecutive electrical shock stimuli were presented to each subject over the left ulnar nerve. In 52 subjects, 16 stimuli were applied at random time intervals (20-50 s). In sedentary subjects, the mean amplitude of the SSRs decreased from 4.83 +/- 0.36 mV at the first stimulus, to 0.80 +/- 0.12 mV at the 16th stimulus. In trained sportsmen, the mean amplitude of the SSRs decreased from 3.95 +/- 0.51 mV at the first stimulus, to 0.80 +/- 0.17 mV at the 16th stimulus. In the sedentary subjects, at the S1-S9 stimuli, the mean amplitudes of SSRs were higher than those of trained sportsmen. Depending upon these findings we can say that the trained sportsmen showed a more rapid habituation than sedentary subjects. In these processes, changes of amplitude and latency values reflect changes in amount of neuronal activation. Amplitude reflects the amount of neuronal activation, which is concerned with number of neuronal populations. Neuroplasticity, known as the habituation of the brain, is the adaptation of autonomic nervous system, which can be reflected by SSRs.