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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Leonardo S. FortesAssociate Graduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Paraíba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil

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Maicon R. AlbuquerqueSports Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Heloiana K.C. FaroAssociate Graduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Paraíba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil

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Dalton de Lima-JúniorAssociate Graduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Paraíba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil

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Maria E.C. FerreiraGraduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

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Sebastião S. AlmeidaDepartment 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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