The present study examined changes in stress cognitive appraisal and salivary cortisol level during the student teaching in kindergartens. Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM) Japanese version based on the cognitive appraisal theory was employed to investigate their psychological states, and salivary cortisol level was measured as a physiological index. Participants were 29 female junior college students who had been training for almost a year to obtain kindergarten teachers’ certificates. They received an explanation of the protocol of the study which included the way of saliva sampling by them about three weeks before student teaching. It was conducted on the designated 4 days (two weeks before student teaching: Day 1; the first week of student teaching: Day 2; the second week of student teaching: Day 3; the first week after student teaching was done: Day 4). They took their saliva samples before going to bed. The replies to SAM were done before going to bed except Day 4. As a result, “Threat” and “Control-Self” score of SAM significantly distinguished between Day 1 and Day 3, therefore it was revealed that the participants on Day 1 would be on the most stressful situation psychologically. On the other hand, since the cortisol level showed a significant difference between Day 1 and Day 2, it was suggested that the participants on Day 2 were in the most stressful situation physiologically. The discrepancy between psychological and physiological responses was an issue in the future.
Age-related declines in muscle strength and balance increase the risk of falls, which in many cases result in spine or hip fractures because of the increased osteoporosis in old age. Blood chemistry tests were conducted on a Player group of 11 elderly women who had played tennis continuously for >30 years and a Control group of 8 elderly women who did not exercise regularly.
We checked the bone resorption marker type 1 carboxy-terminal telopeptide (1CTP) and the bone formation marker bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) using blood samples. Bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content, and body fat content were measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Measures of functional fitness were one-leg standing with eyes open and functional reach. The Japanese version of SF-36 was used to evaluate individual health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The present results demonstrate that playing tennis for 30 years has beneficial effects on bone composition, balance, and mental health into old age. Various confounding factors may be considered, but the results suggest that playing sports such as tennis can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
We investigated the occurrence pattern of the alpha and beta wave components of electroencephalograms (EEGs) in a timing control task to clarify the nature of the cerebral activity that is responsible for adjusting the temporal accuracy of movement.
The subjects were 12 healthy right-handed adults. We used 2 tasks: a smooth pursuit eye movement task was the control task, and a coincidence anticipation timing task was considered as the timing task. In addition, timing responses were divided into premature response, correct response, and delayed response on the basis of the response time. Both tasks were performed using a computer display placed approximately 1.3 m away from the subject. The EEGs were recorded using electrodes placed at 128 sites on the scalp. Fast Fourier transform analysis was performed to separate the EEG into the frequency bands for the alpha and beta components. The obtained bands were compared at 18 sites by using the international 10/20 system; the Cz site was not considered.
In the premature response, we observed a decrease in the beta component in the right parietal area. We considered that this reflects a reduction in visual attention. In the correct response, we observed a decrease in the alpha component in the right parietal area and an increase in the beta component in the right and left occipital areas. These results reflect enhancement of visual attention. In the delayed response, we observed a decrease in the right lateral prefrontal cortex. This result indicates a decrease in the visual attention because of masking of the visual target.
We aimed to confirm kinesthetic illusion occurs in the spinal cord by using a skin cold stimulation. The main new findings of the present study are as follows: First, vibratory stimulation was applied to the antagonist muscle (FCU or BB) responsible for the simultaneous extension movements of the wrist and elbow. Movement of the agonist muscle undershot the target position of the wrist and elbow with FCU vibration, respectively. Similarly, elbow movement undershot the target position during BB vibration. Second, the movement errors consisted of significant overshoots during FCU vibration plus skin cold stimulation and correct attainment of the target during the simultaneous extension movements of the wrist and elbow. With skin cold stimulation of antagonist muscle (FCU), the rms-EMG of the agonist (ECR) significantly increased during the simultaneous extension movements of the wrist. In addition, correlation between rms-EMG of the ECR and TB was significant in FCU with vibration plus skin cold stimulation. We found that the illusory movement disappeared upon application of the skin cold stimulation, indicating the kinesthetic illusion in the spinal cord.
The present study investigated whether brain activation while maintaining neck flexion affects changes to circulatory dynamics in the upper and lower extremity muscles. We selected 15 healthy volunteers with a mean age of 20.6 years (range, 18-22 years). All had played some kind of sports from elementary school through university. Neck flexion angles were randomly set at 0° (neck resting) or 20° (neck flexion). Muscle oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (oxy-Hb) in right upper and lower extremity muscles was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy. Oxy-Hb and electromyogram (EMG) of biceps brachii (BB), triceps brachii (TB), tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius (GS) were measured. Skin blood flow (SBF) was measured over BB and TA. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and cardiac output (CO) were measured during neck flexion. Muscle oxy-Hb in BB, TB and TA were significantly increased during neck flexion. This indicated that blood flow within those muscles was clearly increased while maintaining neck flexion. However, oxy-Hb in GS did not change with neck flexion. Significant correlations were found in the enhancement of blood flow during neck flexion between BB and TB (r = 0.83), BB and TA (r = 0.78), and TB and TA (r = 0.57). No significant effect of posture was found for HR, BP, CO, SBF or EMG. These findings indicate that the increase in muscle blood flow in upper and lower extremity muscles was elicited by brain activation during maintenance of neck flexion.