"Neural efficiency" of athletes' brain for upright standing: A high-resolution EEG study

Claudio Del Percio, Claudio Babiloni, Nicola Marzano, Marco Iacoboni, Francesco Infarinato, Fabrizio Vecchio, Roberta Lizio, Pierluigi Aschieri, Antonio Fiore, Giancarlo Toràn, Michele Gallamini, Marta Baratto, Fabrizio Eusebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

"Neural efficiency" hypothesis posits that neural activity is reduced in experts. Here we tested the hypothesis that compared with non-athletes, elite athletes are characterized by a reduction of cortical activation during an engaging upright standing. EEG (56 channels; Be-plus Eb-Neuro©) and stabilogram (RGM©) data were simultaneously recorded in 10 elite karate, 10 elite fencing athletes, and 12 non-athletes during a simple bipodalic (standard Romberg) and a more engaging monopodalic upright standing. Balance was indexed by body "sway area". The EEG data were spatially enhanced by surface Laplacian estimation. Cortical activity was indexed by task-related power decrease (TRPD) of EEG alpha power (8-12 Hz) during monopodalic referenced to bipodalic condition. The body "sway area" was larger during the monopodalic than bipodalic upright standing in all groups. Low-frequency alpha TRPD (about 8-10 Hz) was lower in amplitude in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at left central, right central, middle parietal, and right parietal areas (p <0.01). Similarly, the amplitude of high-frequency alpha TRPD (10-12 Hz) was lower in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at right frontal, left central, right central, and middle parietal areas (p <0.03). These results suggest that during monopodalic referenced to less engaging bipodalic condition, the power decrease (i.e. the desynchronization) of cortical activity at alpha rhythms is largely reduced in elite athletes than in non-athletes, in line with the "neural efficiency" hypothesis. The present study extends our understanding of the physiological mechanisms at the basis of the "neural efficiency" for engaging upright standing in elite athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume79
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2009

Fingerprint

Athletes
Electroencephalography
Martial Arts
Brain
Cortical Synchronization
Alpha Rhythm

Keywords

  • Alpha rhythms
  • Elite athletes
  • High-resolution electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Sport science
  • Stabilogram
  • Task-related power decreases/increases (TRPD/TRPI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

"Neural efficiency" of athletes' brain for upright standing : A high-resolution EEG study. / Del Percio, Claudio; Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Iacoboni, Marco; Infarinato, Francesco; Vecchio, Fabrizio; Lizio, Roberta; Aschieri, Pierluigi; Fiore, Antonio; Toràn, Giancarlo; Gallamini, Michele; Baratto, Marta; Eusebi, Fabrizio.

In: Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 3-4, 29.05.2009, p. 193-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Del Percio, C, Babiloni, C, Marzano, N, Iacoboni, M, Infarinato, F, Vecchio, F, Lizio, R, Aschieri, P, Fiore, A, Toràn, G, Gallamini, M, Baratto, M & Eusebi, F 2009, '"Neural efficiency" of athletes' brain for upright standing: A high-resolution EEG study', Brain Research Bulletin, vol. 79, no. 3-4, pp. 193-200. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.02.001
Del Percio, Claudio ; Babiloni, Claudio ; Marzano, Nicola ; Iacoboni, Marco ; Infarinato, Francesco ; Vecchio, Fabrizio ; Lizio, Roberta ; Aschieri, Pierluigi ; Fiore, Antonio ; Toràn, Giancarlo ; Gallamini, Michele ; Baratto, Marta ; Eusebi, Fabrizio. / "Neural efficiency" of athletes' brain for upright standing : A high-resolution EEG study. In: Brain Research Bulletin. 2009 ; Vol. 79, No. 3-4. pp. 193-200.
@article{362454cd1b90497fabfdfc747bf73f97,
title = "{"}Neural efficiency{"} of athletes' brain for upright standing: A high-resolution EEG study",
abstract = "{"}Neural efficiency{"} hypothesis posits that neural activity is reduced in experts. Here we tested the hypothesis that compared with non-athletes, elite athletes are characterized by a reduction of cortical activation during an engaging upright standing. EEG (56 channels; Be-plus Eb-Neuro{\circledC}) and stabilogram (RGM{\circledC}) data were simultaneously recorded in 10 elite karate, 10 elite fencing athletes, and 12 non-athletes during a simple bipodalic (standard Romberg) and a more engaging monopodalic upright standing. Balance was indexed by body {"}sway area{"}. The EEG data were spatially enhanced by surface Laplacian estimation. Cortical activity was indexed by task-related power decrease (TRPD) of EEG alpha power (8-12 Hz) during monopodalic referenced to bipodalic condition. The body {"}sway area{"} was larger during the monopodalic than bipodalic upright standing in all groups. Low-frequency alpha TRPD (about 8-10 Hz) was lower in amplitude in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at left central, right central, middle parietal, and right parietal areas (p <0.01). Similarly, the amplitude of high-frequency alpha TRPD (10-12 Hz) was lower in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at right frontal, left central, right central, and middle parietal areas (p <0.03). These results suggest that during monopodalic referenced to less engaging bipodalic condition, the power decrease (i.e. the desynchronization) of cortical activity at alpha rhythms is largely reduced in elite athletes than in non-athletes, in line with the {"}neural efficiency{"} hypothesis. The present study extends our understanding of the physiological mechanisms at the basis of the {"}neural efficiency{"} for engaging upright standing in elite athletes.",
keywords = "Alpha rhythms, Elite athletes, High-resolution electroencephalography (EEG), Sport science, Stabilogram, Task-related power decreases/increases (TRPD/TRPI)",
author = "{Del Percio}, Claudio and Claudio Babiloni and Nicola Marzano and Marco Iacoboni and Francesco Infarinato and Fabrizio Vecchio and Roberta Lizio and Pierluigi Aschieri and Antonio Fiore and Giancarlo Tor{\`a}n and Michele Gallamini and Marta Baratto and Fabrizio Eusebi",
year = "2009",
month = "5",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.02.001",
language = "English",
volume = "79",
pages = "193--200",
journal = "Brain Research Bulletin",
issn = "0361-9230",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - "Neural efficiency" of athletes' brain for upright standing

T2 - A high-resolution EEG study

AU - Del Percio, Claudio

AU - Babiloni, Claudio

AU - Marzano, Nicola

AU - Iacoboni, Marco

AU - Infarinato, Francesco

AU - Vecchio, Fabrizio

AU - Lizio, Roberta

AU - Aschieri, Pierluigi

AU - Fiore, Antonio

AU - Toràn, Giancarlo

AU - Gallamini, Michele

AU - Baratto, Marta

AU - Eusebi, Fabrizio

PY - 2009/5/29

Y1 - 2009/5/29

N2 - "Neural efficiency" hypothesis posits that neural activity is reduced in experts. Here we tested the hypothesis that compared with non-athletes, elite athletes are characterized by a reduction of cortical activation during an engaging upright standing. EEG (56 channels; Be-plus Eb-Neuro©) and stabilogram (RGM©) data were simultaneously recorded in 10 elite karate, 10 elite fencing athletes, and 12 non-athletes during a simple bipodalic (standard Romberg) and a more engaging monopodalic upright standing. Balance was indexed by body "sway area". The EEG data were spatially enhanced by surface Laplacian estimation. Cortical activity was indexed by task-related power decrease (TRPD) of EEG alpha power (8-12 Hz) during monopodalic referenced to bipodalic condition. The body "sway area" was larger during the monopodalic than bipodalic upright standing in all groups. Low-frequency alpha TRPD (about 8-10 Hz) was lower in amplitude in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at left central, right central, middle parietal, and right parietal areas (p <0.01). Similarly, the amplitude of high-frequency alpha TRPD (10-12 Hz) was lower in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at right frontal, left central, right central, and middle parietal areas (p <0.03). These results suggest that during monopodalic referenced to less engaging bipodalic condition, the power decrease (i.e. the desynchronization) of cortical activity at alpha rhythms is largely reduced in elite athletes than in non-athletes, in line with the "neural efficiency" hypothesis. The present study extends our understanding of the physiological mechanisms at the basis of the "neural efficiency" for engaging upright standing in elite athletes.

AB - "Neural efficiency" hypothesis posits that neural activity is reduced in experts. Here we tested the hypothesis that compared with non-athletes, elite athletes are characterized by a reduction of cortical activation during an engaging upright standing. EEG (56 channels; Be-plus Eb-Neuro©) and stabilogram (RGM©) data were simultaneously recorded in 10 elite karate, 10 elite fencing athletes, and 12 non-athletes during a simple bipodalic (standard Romberg) and a more engaging monopodalic upright standing. Balance was indexed by body "sway area". The EEG data were spatially enhanced by surface Laplacian estimation. Cortical activity was indexed by task-related power decrease (TRPD) of EEG alpha power (8-12 Hz) during monopodalic referenced to bipodalic condition. The body "sway area" was larger during the monopodalic than bipodalic upright standing in all groups. Low-frequency alpha TRPD (about 8-10 Hz) was lower in amplitude in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at left central, right central, middle parietal, and right parietal areas (p <0.01). Similarly, the amplitude of high-frequency alpha TRPD (10-12 Hz) was lower in the karate and fencing athletes than in the non-athletes at right frontal, left central, right central, and middle parietal areas (p <0.03). These results suggest that during monopodalic referenced to less engaging bipodalic condition, the power decrease (i.e. the desynchronization) of cortical activity at alpha rhythms is largely reduced in elite athletes than in non-athletes, in line with the "neural efficiency" hypothesis. The present study extends our understanding of the physiological mechanisms at the basis of the "neural efficiency" for engaging upright standing in elite athletes.

KW - Alpha rhythms

KW - Elite athletes

KW - High-resolution electroencephalography (EEG)

KW - Sport science

KW - Stabilogram

KW - Task-related power decreases/increases (TRPD/TRPI)

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=64449083862&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=64449083862&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.02.001

DO - 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.02.001

M3 - Article

C2 - 19429191

AN - SCOPUS:64449083862

VL - 79

SP - 193

EP - 200

JO - Brain Research Bulletin

JF - Brain Research Bulletin

SN - 0361-9230

IS - 3-4

ER -