School sport--a neurophysiological approach

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The aim of this study was to identify neurophysiological correlates for previously reported positive effects of exercise on academic achievement in school children using a distributed source localization algorithm. Electro-cortical activity of 11 school children (9-10y) was recorded before and after a moderate 15-min bike exercise. Data were analyzed using standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) in the alpha (7.5-12.5Hz) and beta (12.5-35Hz) frequency range. We were able to show a significant increase in alpha activity post-exercise, which could be localized in the precuneus. Moreover a distinct decrease in beta activity could be noticed post-exercise in left temporal areas including Wernicke's area. We propose that apart from health-promoting aspects school sport serves a second even more important challenge. On a central level a well observed overall state of physical relaxation after exercise is reflected by a more synchronized state in the precuneus. We speculate this to be responsible for an increase in concentrativeness and cognitive function post-exercise. Moreover a previously reported increase in academic achievement post-exercise could be directly linked to exercise induced neuroplasticity in regions that are relevant for language processing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience letters
Volume467
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25.12.2009

ID: 33985

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