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Psychiatry Investig > Volume 20(1); 2023 > Article
Psychiatry Investigation 2023;20(1):27-34.
DOI:    Published online January 25, 2023.
Changes in Functional Connectivity Between Default Mode Network and Attention Network in Response to Changes in Aerobic Exercise Intensity
Young-woo Ko  , Sun Mi Kim  , Kyoung Doo Kang  , Doug Hyun Han 
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Correspondence: Doug Hyun Han ,Tel: +82-2-6299-3132, Fax: +82-2-6263-2184, Email:
Received: August 25, 2022   Revised: September 21, 2022   Accepted: September 29, 2022   Published online: January 25, 2023
Aerobic exercise may be associated with changes in brain activity within the default mode network (DMN) and dorsal attention network (DAN). We hypothesized that changes in functional connectivity (FC) within the DMN and DAN might be most effectively activated by moderate-intensity exercise.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans and visuospatial attention tests after resting were performed before and after each of moderate- and high-intensity aerobic exercises (10 min each) in 15 healthy male volunteers.
The reaction time during the attention test increased significantly, and the rate of correct responses decreased from moderate-intensity exercise condition to high-intensity exercise condition. FC within the DMN under high-intensity exercise condition was higher than that under pre-exercise and moderate-intensity exercise conditions. FC within the DAN under moderate-intensity exercise condition was the highest, whereas FC between the DMN and DAN under moderate-intensity exercise condition was the lowest. Changes in cognitive domain functions were associated with changes in FC between the DMN and DAN.
Our results support the inverted-U hypothesis of maximum arousal efficacy during moderate exercise. Both cognitive domains, namely, the attention system and brain activity domains, may be better under moderate-intensity exercise than under high-intensity exercise.
Key words   Aerobic exercise; Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging; Brain functional connectivity; Default mode network; Dorsal attention network
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