The obese brain: the relationship between brain structure, neurocognitive functioning and motor coordination in obese children

01 October 2014 → 30 September 2018
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Linguistics
  • Social sciences
    • Biological and physiological psychology
    • Cognitive science and intelligent systems
    • Developmental psychology and ageing
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Neurosciences
    • Neurosciences
    • Neurosciences
brain metobilism neurocognitive obesity
Project description

This proposal will be carried out in the Motor Control research group led by Prof. M. Lenoir. In this group the main focus is on motor competence in children and adolescents (typically developing, DCD, gifted children, athletes) with about 10 ongoing PhD projects. The group is internationally recognized as one of the pioneers to focus on the mechanisms of lower motor competence in obese (OB) children and has a long-standing research collaboration with the Zeepreventorium, De Haan. The relation between OB and gross and fine motor skill by means of behavioral tests was extensively documented during the PhDs of E. D’Hondt (2011) and I. Gentier (2014). This project builds further on the finding that childhood obesity is not only associated with lower gross motor competence, but also with fine motor skill execution. More specifically, Gentier et al (2014) found
evidence for suboptimal control processes in obese children (e.g. decision making, integration of feedback in ongoing action). The combination with brain imaging expertise is the next logical step in unraveling these mechanisms.
Therefore we will collaborate with Prof. K. Caeyenberhgs, who has gained much experience with a variety of state-of-the-art medical imaging techniques (e.g. DTI, MTI) in young children with Traumatic Brain Injury. To learn more about the latest technological developments of structural MRI with specific emphasis on brain white brain matter microstructure, she went to the lab of Prof. D. Jones (CUBRIC, Cardiff; a stay abroad is planned to this lab). With respect to all these MRIexperiences, Caeyenberghs has an existing collaboration with the Radiology Department (UZ Ghent), Prof. E. Achten (neuroradiologist), GIFMI and there is a partnership with the MRP of the Institute for Neuroscience.