Integration in living systems
The term “integration” is widely used, but not necessarily clearly defined, since it has different meanings in different contexts. In sports science, convergence also refers to a multidisciplinary approach: the same phenomenon is researched in multiple theoretical or applied disciplines. For example, exercise-induced exhaustion can be interpreted separately or jointly from the viewpoint of psychology, biomechanics, physiology, biochemistry or sociology.
Integrative fatigue experiments would also provide details on the various variables proposed by both of these disciplines. A biochemist and physiologist will focus on physiological changes, a biomechanist on kinematic changes, a psychologist on perceived exertion, incentive or emotional condition, and a sociologist on the social norms that influence the state.
In a shared reductionist approach, all this evidence is mostly descriptively combined into a bottom-up cause-effect (i.e. from metabolic changes to psychological and social behavior) and is represented using ad hoc theories for prescribing purposes. We realize, however, that physiological, biomechanical, psychological and sociological influences shift with time and do not only have a bottom-up effect, interfering linearly and non-linearly, i.e. non-proportionally, with a fatigued athlete. For eg, the termination or failure point would appear as a result of interaction between multilevel variables with exercise time (Hristovski & Balagué, 2010).