Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brain responses that predict athletic performance

An Italian group, studying a group of expert golfers, has found that before a successful golf putt EEG (electroencephalogram) high-frequency alpha waves (10-12 Hz) over frontal motor areas are smaller in amplitude. Here is their abstract from the Journal of Physiology article:
It is not known whether frontal cerebral rhythms of the two hemispheres are implicated in fine motor control and balance. To address this issue, electroencephalographic (EEG) and stabilometric recordings were simultaneously performed in 12 right-handed expert golfers. The subjects were asked to stand upright on a stabilometric force platform placed at a golf green simulator while playing about 100 golf putts. Balance during the putts was indexed by body sway area. Cortical activity was indexed by the power reduction in spatially-enhanced alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) rhythms during movement, referred to a pre-movement period. It was found that the body sway area displayed similar values in the successful and unsuccessful putts. In contrast, the high-frequency alpha power (about 10-12 Hz) was smaller in amplitude in the successful than in the unsuccessful putts over the frontal midline and the arm and hand region of the right primary sensorimotor area; the stronger the reduction of the alpha power, the smaller the error of the unsuccessful putts (i.e. distance from the hole). These results indicate that high-frequency alpha rhythms over associative, premotor and non-dominant primary sensorimotor areas subserve motor control and are predictive of the golfer’s performance.

No comments:

Post a Comment