Exercise-induced changes in EEG alpha power depend on frequency band definition mode

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


In the majority of studies investigating cortical alpha oscillations the alpha frequency is defined as a fixed band thus, neglecting recommendations in the EEG literature to adjust the alpha band according to the individual alpha peak frequency (iAPF). Based on our previous findings indicating exhaustive exercise induces an increase of the post-exercise iAPF, we scrutinized the influence of exercise on post-exercise alpha power by comparing fixed and iAPF-adjusted alpha frequency bands. Resting EEG was recorded from 13 scalp locations in nine subjects before, immediately after as well as ten minutes following an exhaustive exercise protocol on a cycle ergometer. Lower and upper band alpha power was calculated for fixed and iAPF-adjusted frequency bands. Post-exercise lower alpha power increased in both fixed and individually defined bands while a higher upper alpha power was only observed in the fixed frequency band condition. Further, the increase in iAPF was positively related to the changes in fixed-band upper alpha power. It is concluded that lower alpha power is significantly increased following exhaustive exercise whereas the results for upper alpha power are substantially influenced by the method of frequency band definition. Therefore, caution is indicated when analyzing and interpreting exercise-induced changes in alpha power.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience letters
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 01.2018

Research areas and keywords

  • Journal Article


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