Exercise Intensity and Brain Plasticity: What’s the Difference of Brain Structural and Functional Plasticity Characteristics Between Elite Aerobic and Anaerobic Athletes?

Keying Zhang, Yih Kuen Jan, Yu Liu, Tao Zhao, Lingtao Zhang, Ruidong Liu, Jianxiu Liu, Chunmei Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the differences in morphometry and functional plasticity characteristics of the brain after long-term training of different intensities. Results showed that an aerobic group demonstrated higher gray matter volume in the cerebellum and temporal lobe, while an anaerobic group demonstrated higher gray matter volume in the region of basal ganglia. In addition, the aerobic group also showed significantly higher fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) and degree centrality (DC) in the motor area of the frontal lobe and parietal lobe, and the frontal gyrus, respectively. At the same time, the anaerobic group demonstrated higher fALFF and DC in the cerebellum posterior lobe (family-wise error corrected, p < 0.01). These findings may further prove that different brain activation modes respond to different intensities of physical activity and may help to reveal the neural mechanisms that can classify athletes from different intensity sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number757522
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2022

Keywords

  • aerobic exercise
  • anaerobic exercise
  • brain plasticity
  • exercise intensity
  • RS-fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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