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  Investigating neuroanatomical features in top athletes at the single subject level

Taubert, M., Wenzel, U., Draganski, B., Kiebel, S. J., Ragert, P., Krug, J., et al. (2015). Investigating neuroanatomical features in top athletes at the single subject level. PLoS One, 10(6): e0129508. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129508.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-78DD-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7A46-6
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Taubert, Marco1, Author              
Wenzel, Uwe2, Author
Draganski, Bogdan1, 3, Author              
Kiebel, Stefan J.1, 4, Author              
Ragert, Patrick1, 2, Author              
Krug, Jürgen2, Author
Villringer, Arno1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2Institute of General Kinesiology and Athletics Training, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Département des Neurosciences Cliniques, Laboratoire de Recherche en Neuroimagerie (LREN), Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychology, Neuroimaging Center, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: In sport events like Olympic Games or World Championships competitive athletes keep pushing the boundaries of human performance. Compared to team sports, high achievements in many athletic disciplines depend solely on the individual’s performance. Contrasting previous research looking for expertise-related differences in brain anatomy at the group level, we aim to demonstrate changes in individual top athlete’s brain, which would be averaged out in a group analysis. We compared structural magnetic resonance images (MRI) of three professional track-and-field athletes to age-, gender- and education-matched control subjects. To determine brain features specific to these top athletes, we tested for significant deviations in structural grey matter density between each of the three top athletes and a carefully matched control sample. While total brain volumes were comparable between athletes and controls, we show regional grey matter differences in striatum and thalamus. The demonstrated brain anatomy patterns remained stable and were detected after 2 years with Olympic Games in between. We also found differences in the fusiform gyrus in two top long jumpers. We interpret our findings in reward-related areas as correlates of top athletes’ persistency to reach top-level skill performance over years.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-01-072015-05-082015-06-16
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129508
PMID: 26079870
PMC: PMC4469455
Other: eCollection 2015
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 (6) Sequence Number: e0129508 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850