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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015, Article ID 717312, 6 pages
Research Article

Effects of Physical Exercise on Individual Resting State EEG Alpha Peak Frequency

1Institute of Movement and Neurosciences, German Sport University Cologne, 50933 Cologne, Germany
2Institute for Cardiology and Sports Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, 50933 Cologne, Germany

Received 17 September 2014; Accepted 21 December 2014

Academic Editor: Rajnish Chaturvedi

Copyright © 2015 Boris Gutmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous research has shown that both acute and chronic physical exercises can induce positive effects on brain function and this is associated with improvements in cognitive performance. However, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on cognitive processing are not well understood. This study examined the effects of an acute bout of physical exercise as well as four weeks of exercise training on the individual resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha peak frequency (iAPF), a neurophysiological marker of the individual’s state of arousal and attention, in healthy young adults. The subjects completed a steady state exercise (SSE) protocol or an exhaustive exercise (EE) protocol, respectively, on two separate days. EEG activity was recorded for 2 min before exercise, immediately after exercise, and after 10 min of rest. All assessments were repeated following four weeks of exercise training to investigate whether an improvement in physical fitness modulates the resting state iAPF and/or the iAPF response to an acute bout of SSE and EE. The iAPF was significantly increased following EE () but not following SSE. It is concluded that the iAPF is increased following intense exercise, indicating a higher level of arousal and preparedness for external input.