Other Subject Area

Exercise Neuroscience


International Journal of Exercise Science 17(1): 220-234, 2024. Electroencephalography (EEG) allows for the evaluation of real time changes in brain (electrocortical) activity during exercise. A few studies have examined changes in electrocortical activity using stationary cycling, but the findings have been mixed. Some of these studies have found increases in brain activity following exercise, while others have found decreases in brain activity following exercise. Hence, it is of importance to identify post-exercise changes in brain activity. Sixteen healthy, untrained subjects (8 males; 8 females) participated in the study. All 16 participants performed a graded exercise test (GXT) to volitional exhaustion on an upright cycle ergometer. Continuous EEG recordings were sampled before (PRE) and immediately following (IP) the GXT. Regions of interest were primarily the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and left and right motor cortex (MC). In the DLPFC, a frontal asymmetry index was also identified. There was a statistically significant increase in theta power in the DLPFC, VLPFC, and left and right MC from PRE to IP (all p < 0.05). There was also a shift towards right hemisphere asymmetry at the IP time point in the DLPFC (p < 0.05). Finally, there was an increase in alpha power from PRE to IP in the right MC (p < 0.05). EEG could prove to be an important way to measure the effects of central fatigue on brain activity before and immediately following exercise.