An Integrated Approach Investigating the Effects of Sport on Cognitive Control Using fMRI: Underlying Neural Mechanisms and Potential Applications to Sport Performance(2/2)

Project Details


Participation in physical exercise such as tennis, soccer, or running may affect cognitive processes such as cognitive control. The main goal of this study is to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of exercise experiences and their effects on cognitive control by using fMRI and EEG approaches. The major questions addressed in this project include:⑴ which brain areas may show differences across open-skill sport players, closed-skill sport players as well as non-athletic controls; (2) to compare different types of cognitive processing (e.g., Go RTs and SSRTs in a cognitive control task) across open-skill sport players, close-skill sport players as well as non-athletic controls to see if there is any difference in their processing speed and inhibitory control, and to examine whether this group effect would reflect the areas typically associated with performance of the task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will be used to measure the parameters of interest, including go and stopping processing in a stop-signal task. Additionally, we also interest in whether exercise effect of cognitive control may be on top of temporal preparation. To address this, we used a variable foreperiod go/nogo task with time-frequency EEG analysis, which may help reveal the possible mechanism related to the effect of temporal expectation on neural oscillations as well as the modulation of exercise effect. This project will be an important and a systematic study to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of sport experiences on brain structures and their effects on cognitive processes. The proposed experiments will not only elucidate the behavioral characteristics of exercise behavior on cognitive control and their neural mechanisms, but also possible therapeutic applications and interventions for those who have cognitive difficulties such as elderly adults, DCD ADHD and depression alike.
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • exercise behaviors
  • cognitive control
  • temporal preparation
  • fMRI
  • time-frequency EEG


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