Long-term physical activity modifies automatic visual processing

Heidi Pesonen, Andrej M. Savić, Urho M. Kujala, Ina M. Tarkka
2017 International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology  
Electrophysiologically registered visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) is known to represent automatic visual processing in human visual cortex. Since physical activity (PA) is generally beneficial to cerebrovascular function (Nishijima, Torres-Aleman, & Soya, 2016) we wanted to find out if automatic visual processing is affected by PA. We investigated the connection between long-term leisure-time PA and precognitive visual processing in 32 healthy young males. Participants were divided into
more » ... divided into active (n=16) and inactive (n=16) group according to their leisure-time PA records from the past three years. VMMN was recorded with electroencephalogram using passive oddball paradigm with visual bars. Standard (90 %) and deviant (10 %) stimuli in different orientations were presented randomly while participant's attention was directed to an audio play. No visual task was involved. VMMN difference waveforms were generated and peak latencies and signal integrals were determined in poststimulus window of 100-300 ms. VMMN latencies were shorter in active participants compared to inactive ones in the occipital cortex. A trend toward larger integral values in occipital area in active participants was observed, albeit non-significant. Physically active participants showed faster automatic processing of deviant stimuli compared to inactive ones in the occipital area. This may imply enhanced early non-attended visual processing in those individuals who are habitually physically active. 2
doi:10.1080/1612197x.2017.1321031 fatcat:we7qnoyqy5dx3da7ey7d2fcete