Repeated Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Before Training Changes Visual Search and Improves Decision-Making Response Time in Soccer Athletes

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 Associate Graduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Paraíba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil
  • | 2 Sports Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • | 3 Graduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil
  • | 4 Department of Psychology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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The study aimed to analyze the effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on soccer athletes’ decision making and visual search behavior. It was a single-blind, randomized, and experimental investigation. The 23 soccer athletes were pair-matched according to decision-making skill and then randomized into two groups: a-tDCS and sham. The decision making (during small-sided game and screen task) and visual search behavior were measured before and after the 8-week intervention. Only the a-tDCS group reduced response time in the decision-making screen task (p < .05). The a-tDCS group showed a higher number of fixations than sham group (p < .05) during the small-sided game. The a-tDCS group showed a lower duration of fixation than sham group (p < .05) during the small-sided game. Our results indicated that using a-tDCS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex changed visual search behavior and improved the response time of decision-making skill.

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