Raichlen and colleagues have published a freely accessible paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled ‘Differences in Resting State Functional Connectivity between Young Adult Endurance Athletes and Healthy Controls’.
The researchers used fMRI to investigate brain activity in runners compared to non-runners. The researchers focused on key areas in the brain involved in brain networks. They examined the activity in these areas and correlated this with all of the other areas in the brain, reporting on the most significant correlations.
With a sample size of 22 participants in their early twenties, the researchers have generated specific hypotheses that can be further tested. The methodology is very detailed and this study looks to me to be a pilot study.
The findings can be used in further studies with sample sizes determined by power calculations, simple primary hypotheses and without the need for Bonferonni calculations. Such studies will be useful in testing these very specific hypotheses and perhaps capturing data on sedentary behaviour as well as physical activity. Looking at older as well as younger adults would be particularly interesting.
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