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Leonardo S. Fortes, Maicon R. Albuquerque, Heloiana K.C. Faro, Dalton de Lima-Júnior, Maria E.C. Ferreira, and Sebastião S. Almeida

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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Camille Sabourin, Stéphanie Turgeon, Laura Martin, Scott Rathwell, Mark Bruner, John Cairney, and Martin Camiré

Although psychological distress has been shown to increase during adolescence, participation in organized activities may have protective effects. The present study aimed to identify whether there is a relationship between high school student-athletes’ breadth of participation in organized activities and psychological distress, using a latent class analysis. Canadian adolescent-athletes (n = 930) in Grades 11 and 12 completed an online survey that measured: (a) high school sport participation, (b) community sport participation, (c) nonsport extracurricular activities participation, and (d) psychological distress. The latent class analysis indicated that a two-class model (i.e., Class 1 = narrower breadth, low distress; Class 2 = wider breadth, moderate distress) was most appropriate. Results indicated that despite the divergent probability of organized activity participation, participants in both classes had a low to moderate probability of presenting elevated levels of psychological distress. However, levels of psychological distress were still higher than other Canadian adolescent populations, suggesting that overscheduling could be of concern. Gender and time (i.e., prior/during COVID-19 pandemic) were significant covariates in the model.

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Tyler M. Saumur, Jacqueline Nestico, George Mochizuki, Stephen D. Perry, Avril Mansfield, and Sunita Mathur

This study aimed to determine the relationship between lower limb muscle strength and explosive force with force plate–derived timing measures of reactive stepping. Nineteen young, healthy adults responded to 6 perturbations using an anterior lean-and-release system. Foot-off, swing, and restabilization times were estimated from force plates. Peak isokinetic torque, isometric torque, and explosive force of the knee extensors/flexors and plantar/dorsiflexors were measured using isokinetic dynamometry. Correlations were run based on a priori hypotheses and corrected for the number of comparisons (Bonferroni) for each variable. Knee extensor explosive force was negatively correlated with swing time (r = −.582, P = .009). Knee flexor peak isometric torque also showed a negative association with restabilization time (r = −.459, P = .048); however, this was not statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons. There was no significant relationship between foot-off time and knee or plantar flexor explosive force (P > .025). These findings suggest that there may be utility to identifying specific aspects of reactive step timing when studying the relationship between muscle strength and reactive balance control. Exercise training aimed at improving falls risk should consider targeting specific aspects of muscle strength depending on specific deficits in reactive stepping.

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Kayla M. Fewster, Jackie D. Zehr, Chad E. Gooyers, Robert J. Parkinson, and Jack P. Callaghan

Background: Recent work has demonstrated that low back pain is a common complaint following low-speed collisions. Despite frequent pain reporting, no studies involving human volunteers have been completed to examine the exposures in the lumbar spine during low-speed rear impact collisions. Methods: Twenty-four participants were recruited and a custom-built crash sled simulated rear impact collisions, with a change in velocity of 8 km/h. Randomized collisions were completed with and without lumbar support. Inverse dynamics analyses were conducted, and outputs were used to generate estimates of peak L4/L5 joint compression and shear. Results: Average (SD) peak L4/L5 compression and shear reaction forces were not significantly different without lumbar support (compression = 498.22 N [178.0 N]; shear = 302.2 N [98.5 N]) compared to with lumbar support (compression = 484.5 N [151.1 N]; shear = 291.3 N [176.8 N]). Lumbar flexion angle at the time of peak shear was 36° (12°) without and 33° (11°) with lumbar support. Conclusion: Overall, the estimated reaction forces were 14% and 30% of existing National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health occupational exposure limits for compression and shear during repeated lifting, respectively. Findings also demonstrate that, during a laboratory collision simulation, lumbar support does not significantly influence the total estimated L4/L5 joint reaction force.

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Tal Krasovsky, Rawda Madi, Eyal Fruchter, Elias Jahjah, and Roee Holtzer

Texting while walking is an increasingly common, potentially dangerous task but its functional brain correlates have yet to be reported. Therefore, we evaluated prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation patterns during single- and dual-task texting and walking in healthy adults. Thirteen participants (29–49 years) walked under single- and dual-task conditions involving mobile phone texting or a serial-7s subtraction task, while measuring PFC activation (functional near-infrared spectroscopy) and behavioral task performance (inertial sensors, mobile application). Head lowering during texting increased PFC activation. Texting further increased PFC activation, and decreased gait performance similarly to serial-7 subtraction. Our results support the key role of executive control in texting while walking.

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José Pedro Correia, João R. Vaz, Erik Witvrouw, and Sandro R. Freitas

Maintaining the range of motion in repetitive movement tasks is a crucial point since it directly influences the movement rate. Ensuring the movement amplitude can be reliably maintained when motor function is assessed by measuring the maximum movement rate is therefore a key consideration. However, the performed range of motion during such tasks is often not reported. This study aimed to determine whether individuals are able to maintain an intended range of motion during a knee flexion/extension maximum movement rate task in the absence of tactile and visual feedback. Twelve healthy male individuals performed knee flexion/extension at maximum speed for eight 10-s blocks in a 45° arc between 45° and 90°. The range of motion was monitored using a marker system and the movement rate was measured. The performed range of motion was not significantly different from the 45° arc during the task despite a 13.47% decrease in movement rate from the start to the end of the task. Nevertheless, there was only anecdotal evidence of no difference from 45° in most blocks, while on the second and seventh blocks, there was anecdotal evidence of differences in the Bayesian one-sample test. There was also no significant shift in the maximum flexion/extension angles throughout the task. Healthy male individuals were thus able to perform a consistent average predefined knee range of motion in a maximum movement rate task despite decreases in movement rate. This was achieved without constraint-inducing devices during the task, using only basic equipment and verbal feedback.

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Justin A. Haegele, Lindsay E. Ball, Xihe Zhu, M. Ally Keene, and Lindsey A. Nowland

The purpose of this study was to examine the inclusiveness of visually impaired youths’ experiences in integrated physical education. An experiential qualitative research approach was utilized, and 22 visually impaired youth (age 12–17 years) acted as participants. Data sources included one-on-one Zoom interviews, written responses to long-answer prompts, and reflexive interview notes. Data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach, and three themes were constructed: (a) I’m not there, so how could I: The absent person; (b) I can’t see, so I can’t do it: The incapable person; and (c) It’d be nice to feel like everyone else: The “normal” person. Participants described that feelings of inclusion were unavailable to them and that feeling, and being viewed as, absent, incapable, and (not) “normal” highlighted this unavailability.

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Peter B. Thomsen, Jacob W. Aumeier, Chelsey A. Wilbur, Evan G. Oro, Hunter B. Carlson, and Jesse C. Christensen

Fall-related injuries are associated with muscle weakness and common during slope walking in older adults. However, no study has evaluated the relationship between muscle weakness, measured by maximal lower limb extension power, and older adults’ ability to navigate slope walking for a better understanding of fall prevention. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the association between maximal lower limb extension power and joint mechanics during slope walking. Fifteen healthy older adults were tested. Lower limb extension power was measured using the Leg Extension Power Rig. Kinematic and kinetic analysis was performed during level (0°), incline (10°), and decline (10°) slope walking. Greater maximal lower limb extension power was significantly (p < .050; Cohen’s f 2 > 0.35) associated with multiple kinetic and kinematic joint mechanic variables across stance phase of the gait cycle during level, incline, and decline walking. These findings will allow clinicians to better educate patients and develop interventions focused on fall prevention and improving functional mobility in older adults.

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Fatemeh Zahed and Max Berniker

Reaches in experimental settings are commonly found to be straight. This straightness is robust to physical, but not visual, perturbations. Here, we question whether typical visual feedback contributes to this finding by implicitly promoting straight movements. To do so, we replaced the conventional feedback depicting the hand’s location with feedback depicting the limb’s orientation. Reaching movements with three different visual feedback conditions were examined. In the final condition, the subject’s arm was depicted as two rotating links, and targets were depicted as two links indicating a desired arm posture. We found that by replacing standard cursor feedback, reaches became curved and arched to the target. Our findings further demonstrate that depicted feedback influences movements, and feedback depicting the limb, in particular, may elicit curved reaches.

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Jarrod Blinch, John R. Harry, Melanie A. Hart, and Denis Cousineau

The goal of the current study was to measure the processing demands on the stages of information processing with internal and external foci of attention. Participants completed simple and two-choice reaction time tasks with internal and external foci of attention. Donders’ subtraction method was used to isolate the cumulative duration of stages unique to simple and choice reaction time tasks. Mean reaction time was comparable with internal and external foci of attention in simple and two-choice reaction time tasks. These results suggest that processing demands were comparable with internal and external foci of attention. We hypothesize that there was not a processing advantage for an external focus in simple reaction time because the required movements had low movement complexity.