• Training overload in endurance sport induces cognitive control fatigue
• Training-induced fatigue is associated with reduced prefrontal cortex activity
• Training-induced fatigue is associated with enhanced choice impulsivity
• Excessive physical training and intellectual work induce similar cognitive fatigue
At the neural level, training overload resulted in diminished activation of the lateral prefrontal cortex, a key region of the cognitive control system, during economic choice. Our results therefore provide causal evidence for a functional link between enduring physical exercise and exerting cognitive control.
Besides, the concept of cognitive control fatigue bridges the functional consequences of excessive physical training and intellectual work into a single neuro-computational mechanism, which might contribute to other clinical forms of burnout syndromes.