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Donald R. Marks

Recent studies using neuroimaging technologies offer evidence that ancient beliefs about the benefits (e.g., enhanced attention, increased distress tolerance) associated with mindfulness practice and other forms of meditation may be supported by identifiable neuroanatomical changes in the brain. Although it is too early to make probative statements regarding exactly how and why contemplative practices affect the structure and activity of the brain, sport psychologists may want to consider the potential implications of the findings that have begun to emerge from this neural correlates research. The goal of this article is to (a) review the findings from the principal studies of contemplative practice that have employed measures of neuronal activity (e.g., fMRI, EEG) and (b) examine the potential relevance of these studies to the treatment of psychological disorders among athletes and the enhancement of athletic performance.

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Rebekah L. Scott and J. Gregory Anson

Conversion Disorder affects voluntary motor and sensory function and involves unexplained neurological symptoms without an organic cause. Many researchers have attempted to explain how these symptoms arise but the neural correlates associated with Conversion Disorder remain largely unknown to clinicians and neuroscientists alike. This review focuses on investigations of Conversion Disorder (with motor symptoms) when deficits in voluntary movement occur. No single consistent hypothesis has emerged regarding the underlying cortical mechanisms associated with motor Conversion Disorder. However, findings from electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and behavioral research implicate the involvement of prefrontal networks. With further research using measurement techniques precise in spatial as well as temporal resolution, the conflict associated with two views of the neural correlates of motor Conversion Disorder may be resolved. This will provide a better understanding of the impairment associated with the preparation, generation, and execution of intentional movement in Conversion Disorder.

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Dustin R. Grooms, Adam W. Kiefer, Michael A. Riley, Jonathan D. Ellis, Staci Thomas, Katie Kitchen, Christopher A. DiCesare, Scott Bonnette, Brooke Gadd, Kim D. Barber Foss, Weihong Yuan, Paula Silva, Ryan Galloway, Jed A. Diekfuss, James Leach, Kate Berz, and Gregory D. Myer

on the external stimulation of the M1 using transcranial magnetic stimulation. As a result, it is unknown what role other brain regions may have had or how these neural adaptations influence intrinsically driven motor control. Previous neuroimaging work has suggested that motor learning and skill

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Andrew Hooyman, Alexander Garbin, and Beth Fisher

which is confirmed by changes in Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs) ( Klomjai, Katz, & Lackmy-Vallee, 2015 ; Rossini et al., 2015 ). However, instead of single brain regions, evidence from recent neuroimaging research demonstrates that complex motor behavior is mediated by interconnected networks of brain

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Louisa D. Raisbeck, Jed A. Diekfuss, Dustin R. Grooms, and Randy Schmitz

neuroimaging during gross motor movement will help provide a mechanistic understanding for the effects of attentional focus for motor performance and learning. To better understand the role of vision and attentional focus, we added an additional visual stimuli to our external focus condition, as we wanted to

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Kim D. Barber Foss, Alexis B. Slutsky-Ganesh, Jed A. Diekfuss, Dustin R. Grooms, Janet E. Simon, Daniel K. Schneider, Neeru Jayanthi, Joseph D. Lamplot, Destin Hill, Mathew Pombo, Philip Wong, David A. Reiter, and Gregory D. Myer

Neuroimaging Acquisition All fMRI acquisitions were conducted on a Phillips 3 T Ingenia scanner (Philips Medical Systems, Best, the Netherlands) with a 32-channel, phased array head coil. A magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo sequence was used to acquire high resolution 3D T1-weighted images (sagittal

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Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Samuel R. Walton

advanced acute diagnostic techniques (e.g., neuroimaging and biofluid biomarkers) and treatment (e.g., active rehabilitation, omega 3 fatty acids, etc.), and much of this work is still being confirmed to this day. More recently, monitoring head impacts with sensors has been proposed and is helping inform

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Teresa Liu-Ambrose and John R. Best

Cognitive decline is a common feature of aging. Physical activity is a modifiable lifestyle factor that has been identified as positively impacting cognitive health of older adults. Here, we review the current evidence from epidemiological (i.e., longitudinal cohort) and intervention studies on the role of physical activity and exercise in promoting cognitive health in older adults both with and without cognitive impairment. We highlight some of the potential underlying mechanisms and discuss some of the potential modifying factors, including exercise type and target population, by reviewing recent converging behavioral, neuroimaging, and biomarker evidence linking physical activity with cognitive health. We conclude with limitations and future directions for this rapidly expanding line of research.

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Kay Tetzlaff, Holger Schöppenthau, and Jochen D. Schipke

Context:

It has been widely believed that tissue nitrogen uptake from the lungs during breath-hold diving would be insufficient to cause decompression stress in humans. With competitive free diving, however, diving depths have been ever increasing over the past decades.

Methods:

A case is presented of a competitive free-diving athlete who suffered stroke-like symptoms after surfacing from his last dive of a series of 3 deep breath-hold dives. A literature and Web search was performed to screen for similar cases of subjects with serious neurological symptoms after deep breath-hold dives.

Case Details:

A previously healthy 31-y-old athlete experienced right-sided motor weakness and difficulty speaking immediately after surfacing from a breathhold dive to a depth of 100 m. He had performed 2 preceding breath-hold dives to that depth with surface intervals of only 15 min. The presentation of symptoms and neuroimaging findings supported a clinical diagnosis of stroke. Three more cases of neurological insults were retrieved by literature and Web search; in all cases the athletes presented with stroke-like symptoms after single breath-hold dives of depths exceeding 100 m. Two of these cases only had a short delay to recompression treatment and completely recovered from the insult.

Conclusions:

This report highlights the possibility of neurological insult, eg, stroke, due to cerebral arterial gas embolism as a consequence of decompression stress after deep breath-hold dives. Thus, stroke as a clinical presentation of cerebral arterial gas embolism should be considered another risk of extreme breath-hold diving.

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Naiman A. Khan and Charles H. Hillman

Physical inactivity has been shown to increase the risk for several chronic diseases across the lifespan. However, the impact of physical activity and aerobic fitness on childhood cognitive and brain health has only recently gained attention. The purposes of this article are to: 1) highlight the recent emphasis for increasing physical activity and aerobic fitness in children’s lives for cognitive and brain health; 2) present aspects of brain development and cognitive function that are susceptible to physical activity intervention; 3) review neuroimaging studies examining the cross-sectional and experimental relationships between aerobic fitness and executive control function; and 4) make recommendations for future research. Given that the human brain is not fully developed until the third decade of life, preadolescence is characterized by changes in brain structure and function underlying aspects of cognition including executive control and relational memory. Achieving adequate physical activity and maintaining aerobic fitness in childhood may be a critical guideline to follow for physical as well as cognitive and brain health.