Acute response of prefrontal cortex in institutionalized older adults undergoing a single exergames session

Mariana Rocha Alves, Knut Engedal, Jerson Laks, Vinícius Dias Rodrigues, Lara S.F. Carneiro, Ana Carolina de Mello Alves Rodrigues, Alfredo Maurício B. de Paula, Renato Sobral Monteiro-Junior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Virtual reality-based exercise (exergames) improves cognition of the elderly but the neurophysiological effects are poorly understood. The hypothesis herein established is that an ultrafast neurophysiological adaptation occurs in prefrontal cortex of elderly after completion of a single exergames session. To reinforce the aforementioned hypothesis, individuals living in a Long-Term Care Home (LTCH) participated in the study and were randomly allocated into two groups (Virtual Reality Group, VRG, n = 5; and Active Control Group, ACG n = 5). VRG performed six exercises with exergames and ACG performed exercises with the same VRG movements but with no virtual reality. Assessment of frontal cortical activity at rest and during cognitive testing via electroencephalographic activity (EEG) was performed before and immediately after the intervention. Significant decrease in relative power of EEG (RPEEG) Beta brainwave (−29 ± 18%) in the left prefrontal cortex of VRG compared to ACG (4 ± 9%) (p = 0.007). A slight improvement on semantic fluency in VRG (ES=0.21) was noted. An ultrafast prefrontal cortical adaptation may occur as an effect of a single exergames session, causing a small improvement on cognition of institutionalized elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalIBRO Neuroscience Reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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