Training and Movement Science: new publication

Louis-Solal Giboin, Andreas Kramer and Markus Gruber collaborated with the Lurija Institute, the Kliniken Schmieder and the university of Magdeburg to publish a paper in the journal NeuroImage called "Cortical, subcortical and spinal neural correlates of slackline training-induced balance performance improvements". The authors combined functional neuroimaging with functional neurophysiology measurements to assess changes occuring in the central nervous system following 6 weeks of slackline training. The authors showed that the neural changes were most probably task-specific, explaining the lack of performance transfer to an untrained balance task.

Humans develop posture and balance control during childhood. Interestingly, adults can also learn to master new complex balance tasks, but the underlying neural mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Here, we combined broad scale brain connectivity fMRI at rest and spinal excitability measurements during movement. Six weeks of slackline training improved the capability to walk on a slackline which was paralleled by functional connectivity changes in brain regions associated with posture and balance control and by task-specific changes of spinal excitability. Importantly, the performance of trainees was not better than control participants in a different, untrained balance task. In conclusion, slackline training induced large-scale neuroplasticity which solely transferred into highly task specific performance improvements. Link: