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In Frontiers in neuroscience ; h5-index 72.0

Cardiovascular exercise is known to promote the consolidation of newly acquired motor skills. Previous studies seeking to understand the neural correlates underlying motor memory consolidation that is modulated by exercise, have relied so far on using traditional statistical approaches for a priori selected features from neuroimaging data, including EEG. With recent advances in machine learning, data-driven techniques such as deep learning have shown great potential for EEG data decoding for brain-computer interfaces, but have not been explored in the context of exercise. Here, we present a novel Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)-based pipeline for analysis of EEG data to study the brain areas and spectral EEG measures modulated by exercise. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first one to demonstrate the ability of CNNs to be trained in a limited sample size setting. Our approach revealed discriminative spectral features within a refined frequency band (27-29 Hz) as compared to the wider beta bandwidth (15-30 Hz), which is commonly used in data analyses, as well as corresponding brain regions that were modulated by exercise. These results indicate the presence of finer EEG spectral features that could have been overlooked using conventional hypothesis-driven statistical approaches. Our study thus demonstrates the feasibility of using deep network architectures for neuroimaging analysis, even in small-scale studies, to identify robust brain biomarkers and investigate neuroscience-based questions.

Ghosh Arna, Dal Maso Fabien, Roig Marc, Mitsis Georgios D, Boudrias Marie-Hélène


EEG, cardiovascular exercise, convolutional neural network (CNN), deep learning, motor learning