• Neuroscience & Behaviour

    Neuroscience & Behaviour

    The study of the interaction between physical activity and the nervous system

Steve Bray
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Professor; Acting Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Science
Ivor Wynne Centre, Room 204
905 525 9140 ext. 26472
My research examines social-cognitive factors that influence and are influenced by participation in physical activity. Current interests include self-perceptions such as self-efficacy, perceived control, self-regulation, and self-determination. I also investigate people’s perceptions about influential others who interact with them (proxy agents) in their pursuit of behavioural objectives. Understanding relationships between these perceptions and behaviour involves laboratory and field-based research. Challenges faced by people navigating life transitions such as moving away from home to attend college or university, rehabilitating from illness, and becoming a parent are of particular interest.

Self-regulation of exercise; Self-efficacy and Self-control; Fatigue; Behaviour Change


Course Code
  Course Name
KINESIOL 4H03   P A Behaviour Change


Course Code
  Course Name
KIN 715   Foundations of Health & Exercise Psychology

Brown, D.M.Y., Farias Zuniga, A., Mulla, D.M., Mendonca, D., Keir, P.J., & Bray, S.R. (2021). Investigating the effects of mental fatigue on resistance exercise performance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 6794. https://doi.org/10.3390/ ijerph18136794.

Caldwell, H. A. T., Di Cristofaro, N. A., Cairney, J., Bray, S. R., & Timmons, B. W. (2021). Measurement properties of the Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth (PLAY) Tools. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 46, 6. https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2020-0648

Harris, S. & Bray, S. R. (2021). Mental fatigue, anticipated effort and subjective valuations of exercising predict choice to exercise or not: A mixed-methods study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2021.101924

Harris, S. & Bray, S. R. (2021). Effects of mental fatigue and monetary incentives on exercise intensity decision-making and performance. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000272

Hewston, P., Kennedy, C. C., Borhan, S., Merom, D., Santaguida, P., Ioannidis, G., Marr, S., Santesso, N., Thebane, L., Bray, S. R., & Papaioannou, A. (2021). Effects of dance on cognitive function in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Age and Ageing, 50(4), 1084-1092.

Brown, D. M. Y., Graham, J. D., Innes, K. I., Harris, S., Flemington, A., & Bray, S. R. (2020). Cognitive exertion and physical performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 50(3), 497-529. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01204-8

Innes, K. L., Graham, J. D., & Bray, S. R. (2020). Effects of peer encouragement on efficacy perceptions and physical performance in children. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 42 (4), 314-322. doi: https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2019-0280

Kwan, M. Y. W., Dutta, P., Bray, S. R., Brown, D. M. Y., Cairney, J., Dunton, G. F., Graham, J. D., Rebar, A. L., & Rhodes, R. E. (2020). Methods and design for the ADAPT study: Application of integrateD Approaches to understanding Physical activity during the Transition to emerging adulthood. BMC Public Health, 20, 426. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08484-0

Benson, A. J., Azizi, E., Evans, M. B., Eys, M. A., & Bray, S. R. (2019). How innuendo shapes impressions of task and intimacy groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 102854. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.103854

Brown, D. M. Y., Mahlberg, N., Pohl, D., Timmons, B. W., Bray, S. R., Streiner, D., Ferro, M., Hamer, S., Rosenbaum, P., & Ronen, G. (2019). Can behavioral strategies increase physical activity and influence depressive symptoms and quality of life among children with epilepsy? Results of a randomized controlled trial. Epilepsy and Behavior, 94, 158-166.

Brown, D. M. Y., & Bray, S. R. (2019). Heart rate biofeedback attenuates effects of mental fatigue on exercise performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 41, 70-79.

Harris, S. & Bray, S. R. (2019). Effects of mental fatigue on exercise decision-making. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 44, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.04.005.

Proudfoot, N., King-Dowling, S., Timmons, B., Bray, S.R., Cairney, J., & MacDonald, M. (2019). Physical activity and trajectories of cardiovascular health indicators during early childhood. Pediatrics, 144(1):e20182242.

Brown, D. M. Y., & Bray. S. R. (2019). Effects of mental fatigue on exercise intentions and behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 55, 405-414. DOI:10.1093/abm/kay052

Degree Name
PhD Sheereen HARRIS
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Kinesiology