Jae-Jun Lee1, Jeehye Seo1, Hui-Jin Song1, Seong-Uk Jin1, Ji-Young Kim2, Yongmin Chang1,3
1medical & Biological Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea, Republic of; 2School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea, Republic of; 3Diagnostic Radiology, Kyungpook National University , Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Motor imagery was defined as the metal rehearsal of simple or complex motor acts that is not accompanied by physical movement. Previous studies provide evidence that motor imagery is associated with dynamic changes between performance and the mental rehearsal period that precedes the voluntary movement as an important difference between highly trained athletes and beginners. However, motor imagery of archery and rifle shooting is seldom studied. In the present study, we compared the neural correlates of elite archers and non-archers during mental rehearsal of archery using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our results show that the neural networks of expert archers is more focused and efficiently organized than those of non-archers. The motor programs of experts are more efficiently organized and thus they require less energy to execute. These results are consistent with the notion of relative economy in the cortical processes of expert athletes such as golfers and marksmen, relative to controls, during the specific challenge with which they are highly practiced.