Research Topic

The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Cortical Excitability

About this Research Topic

The adult brain has the ability to modify its organization (Brain plasticity) through physiological mechanisms such as the repetition of simple movements. In 1985, Barker and colleagues were the first to describe magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex. These observations led to the development of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The ability of TMS to stimulate deep neural structures, such as the motor cortex, has enabled researchers to investigate the integrity of the brain-to-muscle pathway and the functionality of cortical networks.

The aim of this Research Topic is to investigate the effect of physical training on the excitability of the primary motor cortex as evaluated by using TMS. We hypothesized that training may cause changes in motor cortex excitability. It has been also hypothesized that these changes may be reflected in motor coordination and reaction time. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that muscle fatigue may have a different influence with athletes than with their non-athlete counterparts. Therefore, TMS may enable a greater understanding of the behaviour of the corticospinal tract in ‘top-down’ paradigms, where the effect of motor skills on corticospinal plasticity and neuromuscular adaptation can be examined.

We would like to encourage the authors to submit original articles or reviews on the potential effects of physical and sports activity on the brain. Studies performed with transcranial magnetic stimulators are welcome. However, investigations carried out with other devices will be taken into consideration.


Keywords: physical activity, cortical excitability, Transcranial magnetic stiumulation (TMS), muscle activation, motor performance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The adult brain has the ability to modify its organization (Brain plasticity) through physiological mechanisms such as the repetition of simple movements. In 1985, Barker and colleagues were the first to describe magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex. These observations led to the development of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The ability of TMS to stimulate deep neural structures, such as the motor cortex, has enabled researchers to investigate the integrity of the brain-to-muscle pathway and the functionality of cortical networks.

The aim of this Research Topic is to investigate the effect of physical training on the excitability of the primary motor cortex as evaluated by using TMS. We hypothesized that training may cause changes in motor cortex excitability. It has been also hypothesized that these changes may be reflected in motor coordination and reaction time. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that muscle fatigue may have a different influence with athletes than with their non-athlete counterparts. Therefore, TMS may enable a greater understanding of the behaviour of the corticospinal tract in ‘top-down’ paradigms, where the effect of motor skills on corticospinal plasticity and neuromuscular adaptation can be examined.

We would like to encourage the authors to submit original articles or reviews on the potential effects of physical and sports activity on the brain. Studies performed with transcranial magnetic stimulators are welcome. However, investigations carried out with other devices will be taken into consideration.


Keywords: physical activity, cortical excitability, Transcranial magnetic stiumulation (TMS), muscle activation, motor performance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2019 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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