Neural markers of performance states in an Olympic athlete: An EEG case study in air-pistol shooting

This study focused on identifying the neural markers underlying optimal and suboptimal performance experiences of an elite air-pistol shooter, based on the tenets of the multi-action plan (MAP) model. According to the MAP model’s assumptions, skilled athletes’ cortical patterns are expected to differ among optimal/automatic (Type 1), optimal/controlled (Type 2), suboptimal/controlled (Type 3), and suboptimal/automatic (Type 4) performance experiences. We collected performance (target pistol shots), cognitive-affective (perceived control, accuracy, and hedonic tone), and cortical activity data (32-channel EEG) of an elite shooter. Idiosyncratic descriptive analyses revealed differences in perceived accuracy in regard to optimal and suboptimal performance states. Event-Related Desynchronization/Synchronization analysis supported the notion that optimal-automatic performance experiences (Type 1) were characterized by a global synchronization of cortical arousal associated with the shooting task, whereas suboptimal controlled states (Type 3) were underpinned by high cortical activity levels in the attentional brain network. Results are addressed in light of the neural efficiency hypothesis and reinvestment theory. Perceptual training recommendations aimed at restoring optimal performance levels are discussed.
© Copyright 2016 Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. Department of Sports Medicine - Medical Faculty of Uludag University . All rights reserved.

Subjects: shooting pistol shooting nerve EEG perception skill movement precision high performance sport elite sport training
Notations: technical sports
Published in: Journal of Sports Science & Medicine
Published: 2016
Volume: 15
Issue: 2
Pages: 214-222
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced