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George W. Lawton, Tsung Min Hung, Pekka Saarela and Bradley D. Hatfield

High levels of athletic performance are frequently attributed to mental states. Evidence for this attribution comes mainly from phenomenological reports of athletes. However, research with elite performers using electrophysiological measures has tracked changes in nervous system activity in real time during performance, which may further understanding of such states. Specific patterns of psychophysiological activity from the cerebral cortex, in the form of event-related slow potentials (SPs), as well as spectral content measured by electroencephalography (EEG), occur in the few seconds of performance (preshot) preparation. We discuss these data. We suggest that the logical structure of research with athletes differs from other psychophysiological research. We emphasize the theoretical mind-body issues and the logical structure of these investigations to suggest directions for future research.

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Nicholas D. Gilson, Caitlin Hall, Angela Renton, Norman Ng and William von Hippel

study sought to investigate the impact of sit-only, sit–stand, and treadmill desk conditions on psychobiological indicators of work productivity. Specifically, we assessed brain activation during an attention task, recorded continuously via electroencephalography (EEG) at the end of workdays spent in an

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Kirk F. Grand, Marcos Daou, Keith R. Lohse and Matthew W. Miller

The present study investigated whether motivation and augmented feedback processing explain the effect of an incidental choice on motor learning, and examined whether motivation and feedback processing generally predict learning. Accordingly, participants were assigned to one of two groups, choice or yoked, then asked to practice a nondominant arm beanbag toss. The choice group was allowed to choose the color of the beanbag with which they made the toss, whereas the yoked group was not. Motor learning was determined by delayed-posttest accuracy and precision. Motivation and augmented feedback processing were indexed via the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory and electroencephalography, respectively. We predicted the choice group would exhibit greater motor learning, motivation, and augmented feedback processing, and that the latter two variables would predict learning. Results showed that an incidental choice failed to enhance motor learning, motivation, or augmented feedback processing. In addition, neither motivation nor augmented feedback processing predicted motor learning. However, motivation and augmented feedback processing were correlated, with both factors predicting changes in practice performance. Thus, results suggest the effect of incidental choices on motor learning may be tenuous, and indicate motivation and augmented feedback processing may be more closely linked to changes in practice performance than motor learning.

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Dave Smith and Dave Collins

The aim of these two studies was to examine the application of Lang’s (1979, 1985) bioinformational theory to the mental practice (MP) of a strength task, the maximal voluntary contraction of the abductor digiti minimi, and the MP of a computerized barrier knockdown task. Study 1 divided 18 males into three groups: a physical practice (PP) group; a stimulus and response proposition mental practice (SRP) group; and a stimulus proposition mental practice (SP) group. Each participant either physically or mentally practiced 40 contractions twice a week for 3 weeks, and electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded during testing sessions. All three groups significantly increased abduction strength, but there were no significant between-group differences in the magnitude of the improvements. In addition, late contingent negative variation (CNV) waves were apparent prior to both real and imagined movements in all conditions. Study 2 allocated 24 participants to PP, SRP, SP, and control groups. Participants performed 120 imaginary or actual barrier knockdown trials, with EEGs recorded as in Study 1. A Group × Test ANOVA for movement time revealed that the PP and SRP groups improved to a significantly greater degree than the SP and control groups. Also, the late CNV was observed prior to real and imagined movement in the SRP group, but not prior to imagined movement in the SP group. These results support bioinformational theory with respect to cognitively oriented motor tasks, but not strength tasks.

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Carlos Amo, Miguel Ortiz del Castillo, Rafael Barea, Luis de Santiago, Alejandro Martínez-Arribas, Pedro Amo-López and Luciano Boquete

Objective:

Propose a simplified method applicable in routine clinical practice that uses EEG to assess induced gamma-band activity (GBA) in the 30–90 Hz frequency range in cerebral motor areas.

Design:

EEG recordings (25 healthy subjects) of cerebral activity (at rest, motor task). GBA was obtained as power spectral density (PSD). GBA — defined as the gamma index (Iγ) — was calculated using the basal GBA (γB) and motor GBA (γMOV) PSD values.

Results:

The mean values of Iγ were (Iγ R (right hand) = 1.30, Iγ L (left hand) = 1.22). Manual laterality showed a correlation with Iγ.

Conclusions:

Iγ may provide a useful way of indirectly assessing operation of activated motor neuronal circuits. It could be applied to diagnosis of motor area pathologies and as follow up in rehabilitation processes. Likewise, Iγ could enable the assessment of motor capacity, physical training and manual laterality in sport medicine.

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James W.G. Thompson and David Hagedorn

Sports-related concussions are complex injuries with biomechanical and biochemical etiology that present with central and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Current methods for assessing concussions and basing return-to-play decisions rely on symptom resolution, rating scales, and neuropsychological testing, all of which are indirect measures of injury severity and detect functional capabilities but do not directly measure injury location or severity. In addition, these downstream measures are susceptible to false negatives because compensatory mechanism, such as unmasking and redundancies in brain circuitry can return functional capabilities before injury resolution. The multifactorial nature of concussion necessitates rapid, inexpensive, and easily applied multimodal analysis methods that can offer greater sensitivity and specificity. This article discusses how new approaches utilizing electrophysiology (e.g., QEEG, ERP, ECG, HRV), quantified balance measures, and biochemistry are necessary to advance the science of concussion assessment, treatment, recovery projections, and return-to-play decisions. These additional assessment tools offer a more direct window into the severity and location of the injury, real-time measures of brain function, and the ability to measure the multiple body systems negatively affected by concussion.

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Michael Gay and Semyon Slobounov

dysfunction (structural data) in the brain after trauma. Advances in modalities such as functional neuroimaging, quantitative electroencephalography, and virtual reality–based cognitive testing combined with current clinical batteries of exams such as neuropsychological testing, oculomotor examination, and

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Natashia Swalve, Brianna Harfmann, John Mitrzyk and Alexander H. K. Montoye

stages were compared between five different activity monitoring devices to a criterion measure (i.e., electroencephalography) to determine the validity of the device-based measures. As a secondary aim, a thermometry device was used to determine if skin temperature was correlated to sleep stage. Methods

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Andrew Hooyman, Alexander Garbin and Beth Fisher

measured via electroencephalography. Theoretically then, successful modulation of M1-DLPFC resting-state circuitry would lead to major changes in motor behavior and learning. Further, we provide recommendations for maintaining scientific rigor that are meant to generalize beyond the single subject

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Sebastian Ludyga, Thomas Gronwald and Kuno Hottenrott

Although men and women are suggested to vary in resistance to fatigue, possible sex difference in its central component have rarely been investigated via electroencephalography (EEG). Therefore, we examined differences in cortical activity between male and female cyclists (n = 26) during cycling exercise. Participants performed an incremental test to derive the anaerobic threshold from the lactate power curve. In addition, cyclists’ cortical activity was recorded with EEG before and during cycling exercise. Whereas women showed higher frontal alpha and beta activity at rest, no sex-specific differences of relative EEG spectral power occurred during cycling at higher intensity. Women and men’s brains respond similarly during submaximal cycling, as both sexes show an inverted U-shaped curve of alpha power. Therefore, sex differences observable at rest vanish after the onset of exercise.