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Int J Sports Med. 2013 Dec;34(12):1106-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1341437. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Brain activity in predictive sensorimotor control for landings: an EEG pilot study.

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Exercise & Brain Laboratory, Institute of Sports Medicine, University of Paderborn, Germany.


Landing from a jump is related to predictive sensorimotor control. Frontal, central and parietal brain areas are known to play a role in this process based on online sensory feedback. This can be measured by EEG. However, there is only limited knowledge about brain activity during predictive preparation for drop landings (DL). The purpose is to demonstrate changes in brain activity in preparation for DL in different conditions. After resting, 10 athletes performed a series of DLs and were asked to concentrate on the landing preparation for 10 s before an auditory signal required them to drop land from a 30 cm platform. This task was executed before and after a standardized fatigue protocol. EEG spectral power was calculated during DL preparation. Frontal Theta power was increased during preparation compared to rest. Parietal Alpha-2 power demonstrated higher values in preparation after fatigue condition while lower limb kinematics remained unchanged. Cortical activity in frontal and parietal brain areas is sensitive for predictive sensorimotor control of drop landings. Frontal Theta power demonstrates an increase and is related to higher attentional control. In a fatigued condition the parietal Alpha-2 power increase might be related to a deactivation in the somatosensory brain areas.

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