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Horizons of Psychology :: Psihološka obzorja

Scientific and Professional Psychological Journal of the Slovenian Psychologists' Association

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Higher neural demands on stimulus processing after prolonged hospitalization can be mitigated by a cognitively stimulating environment

Uroš Marušič, Rado Pišot & Vojko Kavčič

pdf Full text (pdf)  |  Views: 103  |  flagWritten in English.  |  Published: May 7, 2021

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Abstract: Prolonged periods of complete physical inactivity or bed rest trigger various alterations in the functional and metabolic levels of the human body. However, bed rest-related adaptations of the central nervous system are less known and thoroughly studied. The aim of this study was to investigate brain electrophysiological changes using event-related potentials (ERPs) after 14 days of bed rest and 12 consecutive sessions of computerized cognitive training (CCT). Sixteen older (Mage= 60 years) healthy volunteers were randomly divided into a CCT treatment group and an active control group. All participants performed ERP measurements based on the foveal visual presentation of a circle on a black background before and after bed rest. After 14 days of bed rest, participants in the control group showed increased peak P1 amplitude (p = .012), decreased P1 latency (p = .024), and increased P2 amplitude (p = .036), while the CCT group also showed decreased P1 latency (p = .023) and decreased P2 latency (p = .049). Our results suggest that, even from a central adaptation perspective, prolonged periods of physical inactivity or bed rest trigger additional neural recruitment and should therefore be minimized, and that CCT may serve as a tool to mitigate this. Future research should focus on other aspects of central nervous system adaptation following periods of immobilization/hospitalization to improve our knowledge of influence of physical inactivity and its effects on cortical activity and to develop appropriate countermeasures to mitigate functional dysregulation.

Keywords: bed rest immobilization, aging, electroencephalography (EEG), computerized cognitive training, event-related potential (ERP)

Marušič, U., Pišot, R., & Kavčič, V. (2021). Higher neural demands on stimulus processing after prolonged hospitalization can be mitigated by a cognitively stimulating environment. Psihološka obzorja, 30, 55–61.

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