2003 Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 5-13
We studied the electrophysiological effects of physical exercise on somatosensory information processing by comparing a groups of individuals practicing high intensity physical exercise using lower limbs（playing soccer; exercise group）to a group of sedentary subjects with no exercising habit（non-exercise group）. Event-related potentials（ERPs）were recorded using somatosensory stimulation at the tibial nerve（lower limb）and at the median nerve（upper limb）separately under oddball task conditions. N140 amplitude for upper limb task was greater in the exercise group than in the non-exercise group. P300 latency for lower limb task was shorter in the exercise group than in the non-exercise group. However, no difference in P300 latency for upper limb task was observed between the two groups. P300 amplitudes for lower limb task were also greater in the exercise group than in the non-exercise group, but P300 amplitudes for upper limb task were not different between the two groups. These results indicate that training of the lower limbs results in a difference in amount of somatosensory input following continuous physical exercise, and affects P300 latency and amplitude of the somatosensory ERPs. The findings suggest that using the lower limbs and upper limbs in daily exercise enhances somatosensory cognitive function.