The aim of this study was to identify EEG/ERP biomarkers of visuo-spatial processing and motor-preparation present in elite table tennis players when compared to an age and gender matched non-elite, but experienced, group of players. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) was recorded from 206 table tennis athletes from elite and club-level around the world (all five continents represented). QEEG was obtained during eyes closed (EC), eyes open (EO), a 4 minute video task (VT). ERPs were recorded during two visuo-spatial continuous performance tasks (2×10 mins). Spectral averaging showed synchronization for VT versus EO around 11.25 Hz (upper alpha band) maximal at C4 (right motor cortex) differentiates elite from club level players. Source analysis using eLORETA identified signal loci in right BA6 (supplementary motor area, sensory selection for motor control) and right BA13 (insula cortex, salience detection) regions. Reaction time on both DAN1 and DAN4 was significantly correlated with world ranking.
The brain is an information processing machine adjusting itself to the environment. Information processing can be defined as reducing uncertainty. It has been suggested that the brain developed from an evolutionary point of view once living creatures started moving around in a changing and thus uncertain environment.
Considerable evidence exists to suggest that a variety if not all cortical systems can undergo some type of plastic reorganisation. Modulation of afferent input (sensory deprivation or sensory increase) to the cortical areas represents at least one factor that determines the type of reorganisation observed. This innate plastic response is probably determined to a certain extent by the central integrative state of the neurons and glial components of the functional projection networks involved.