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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

URI researchers seek volunteers for brain and exercise study

It won't hurt a bit

By Patrick Luce 

A University of Rhode Island kinesiology professor is examining how the human brain responds during exercise, and he is looking for members of the community to take part in the study.

Assistant Professor Mark Hartman is aiming to evaluate the relationship between acute exercise and brain activity. He is looking specifically for right-handed study participants who are between 18 and 45 years old to exercise on a stationary bike while researchers stimulate and measure their brain activity. The study will take place over three one-hour sessions in the Department of Kinesiology’s lab on the Kingston Campus.

“We are interested in understanding the role of the frontal cortex during exercise,” Hartman said. “Specifically, we are investigating how physiological responses (brain activity patterns) influence psychological responses such as enjoyment and fatigue. This study aims to better understand the neural and psychological processes of exercise behavior. The ultimate goal of this line of research is to develop more effective interventions to increase physical activity.”

Study volunteers will be compensated $75 for the three visits, spread out over a few weeks. In addition to financial compensation, study participants will receive a free fitness report based on measurements of their bodies’ fitness levels. 

Data include maximal exercise capacity, endurance level, maximal oxygen consumption, maximum heart rate, body mass index and body fat percentage.

Anyone in the community interested in taking part in the study is asked to complete an online survey to determine if they meet the study’s inclusion criteria. The survey can be completed in 10 to 15 minutes. 

Qualified participants are asked to commit to three one-hour sessions in the lab in Independence Square, 25 West Independence Way, Kingston. For more information, contact Hartman at or graduate research assistant Jordan Laske at

This research has been approved by The University of Rhode Island Institutional Review Board.