Brain cortical activity is influenced by exercise mode and not familiarization comparing two exercises in triathlon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Published abstract for conference with selection processResearchpeer-review


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An increasing number of studies within the recent years connected physical exercise with
changes in brain cortical activity. It is suggested that different exercise modes and physical
adaptation on different exercise types lead to variations in brain cortical activity. However,
because of variability and limitations in previous study designs, the mechanisms behind this
link remain unclear. This study aimed to assess the effects on brain cortical activity due to
the physical exercise dependent adaptation of two different exercises to measure these
changes within the frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital and central cortexes of the brain.
Ten professional triathletes were asked to perform two modes of exercise (bicycling and
running), each at their individual self-chosen “feel good” intensity both under field conditions.
Electrocortical activity (EEG) and mood (MoodMeter©) was recorded under rest conditions
before and after exercise. Fast-Fourier Transformation was used to calculate spectral
changes in electroencephalographic α (7.5 to 12.5 Hz) and β (12.5 to 35 Hz) frequency
bands within the brain.
Participants performed both tests at 60% of their maximum capacity. No differences of mood
and the physiological parameters (heart rate, lactic acid, RPE) were observed in between the
two exercise modes. ANOVA revealed a decrease in frontal α (p=0.003) and β (p=0.002)
activity immediately post exercise after running whereas an increase of β (p=0.04) activity
after bike exercise was found to be localized in central regions.
In conclusion, these electro cortical changes seem to be specific for exercise modes and not
adaptation/familiarization, as athletes were equally familiarized with both exercise modes.
Further studies are needed to unravel the meaning of these changes.
Translated title of the contributionDie kortikale Gehirnaktivität ist beeinflusst von der Sportart und nicht der Gewöhnung im Vergleich zweier Sportarten im Triathlon
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of abstract
Number of pages1
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventNeuroVisionen NeuroNRW - Köln, Germany
Duration: 01.01.1800 → …
Conference number: 9

ID: 209115

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