School sport-A neurophysiological approach

Stefan Schneider*, Tobias Vogt, Johanna Frysch, Petra Guardiera, Heiko K. Strüder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to identify neurophysiological correlates for previously reported positive effects of exercise on academic achievement in school children using a distributed source localization algorithm. Electro-cortical activity of 11 school children (9-10y) was recorded before and after a moderate 15-min bike exercise. Data were analyzed using standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) in the alpha (7.5-12.5 Hz) and beta (12.5-35 Hz) frequency range. We were able to show a significant increase in alpha activity post-exercise, which could be localized in the precuneus. Moreover a distinct decrease in beta activity could be noticed post-exercise in left temporal areas including Wernicke's area. We propose that apart from health-promoting aspects school sport serves a second even more important challenge. On a central level a well observed overall state of physical relaxation after exercise is reflected by a more synchronized state in the precuneus. We speculate this to be responsible for an increase in concentrativeness and cognitive function post-exercise. Moreover a previously reported increase in academic achievement post-exercise could be directly linked to exercise induced neuroplasticity in regions that are relevant for language processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 25
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive function
  • EEG
  • Precuneus
  • School sport
  • Wernicke's area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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