Neuroelectric indices of pre-motor planning and adiposity are selectively related to balance in children

Shelby A. Keye, Christopher J. Kinder, Laura M. Rosok, Corinne N. Cannavale, Anne Walk, Naiman A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Motor function and weight status are components of physical fitness that have been implicated in childhood motor and cognitive development. The lateralized readiness potential (LRP), an index of motor planning and action, can provide context surrounding relationships between fitness and brain activity underlying cognitive and motor functions. This study evaluated the relationship between the LRP and motor skills, as well as associations between weight status and neural and behavioral motor functions. Methods: Children aged 7–13 (n = 35) participated in a cross-sectional study, using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2nd edition (MABC-2) to assess balance, manual dexterity, and aiming/catching. The stimulus- (LRP-S) and response-locked (LRP-R) LRPs were elicited from a modified flanker task. Stepwise regressions tested the association between LRPs and MABC-2 components. Linear regressions were conducted to examine BMI and %Fat in relation to LRPs and MABC-2 components. Results: Analyses revealed that LRP-S mean amplitude difference (β = 0.401, P = 0.042) and reaction time interference scores (β = 0.545, P = 0.004) were positively associated with balance, after adjusting for covariates. The LRP-S and interference scores did not predict other MABC-2 outcomes and LRP-R did not predict any MABC-2 components. Further, %Fat (β = −0.439, P = 0.044), not BMI (β = −0.364, P = 0.082), only predicted balance. Conclusion: We found that changes in the LRP-S amplitude were positively associated with balance, and %Fat was negatively related to balance. This evidence is that fitness components such as weight status and coordination are related to neural markers of motor function which may be useful in intervention designs aimed to improve brain function via improvements in physical fitness and health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103216
JournalHuman Movement Science
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Children
  • Coordination
  • Event-related potentials
  • Fat mass
  • Postural control
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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