Observation of cerebral cortex activation during static balance task in sporting and non-sporting individuals: A cross sectional fNIRS study


Introduction This study aimed to investigate the differences in cerebral cortex activation during a static balance task between sporting and non-sporting groups using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance (CTSIB) was employed to assess balance performance in both groups. Method The study involved 70 participants, assigned into 2 equal groups; the sporting (N = 35) and non sporting (N = 35) group. Hemodynamic changes measured as oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) and deoxyhemoglobin (deoxy-Hb) concentrations, were recorded using a portable fNIRS system. Results The results revealed significant differences in CTSIB scores between the sporting and non-sporting groups in five out of the six balance conditions. The sporting group showed superior balance performance compared to the non-sporting group. The fNIRS data showed activation patterns in various regions of interest (ROIs), including the occipito-parietal, prefrontal, and temporo-parietal regions. Differences in activation between the two groups were observed in the occipito-parietal and prefrontal cortex regions, indicating distinct neural responses during the balance task. Conclusion These findings suggest that regular participation in sports activities may contribute to improved balance control and associated changes in cerebral cortex activation. The activation patterns observed in different cortical areas provide valuable insights into the neural mechanisms underlying static balance and the potential effects of sporting activities on balance control. The research findings offer insights for targeted interventions aimed at improving balance in both athletes and non-athletes. These interventions have the potential to reduce the risk of falls and enhance overall physical performance, benefiting a diverse range of individuals.

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies