This study aimed to test the effects of specific sport practices on cognitive sensory-motor performance and underlying brain functions in children. Behavioral performance and event-related potentials (ERP) were investigated during a cognitive visuomotor task in 64 preadolescent children practicing racket (Rack) sports, martial arts (Mart), indoor climbing (Clim), or not practicing any sport (controls, Cont). At the behavioral level, response speed and accuracy were studied. At the electrophysiological level, motor, cognitive and sensory-attentional readiness, and post-perceptual attentional functions were investigated. Behavioral results showed that Mart players had the fastest response time (RT). Rack players had the most consistent RT and committed the lowest omission errors. Clim athletes were the most accurate in terms of false alarms. ERP results showed that motor readiness was largest in Mart players. The Rack group had the largest cognitive preparation and the Clim one had the largest sensory-attentional readiness activity. Rack and Mart players had the largest activity associated with post-perceptual attentional processing. This result shows that practicing specific sports may allow differential benefits on cognitive processing. Racket sports seem to stimulate action speed consistency and improve accuracy for omissions, increasing cognitive preparation, and post-perceptual attentional processing. Mart practice may allow a more speed-oriented response behavior, probably due to large motor preparation and allocation of post perceptual attentional resources, but only when response execution is required. Indoor climbing may favor response accuracy reducing unwanted responses as indexed by an increased sensory-attentional readiness. Overall, all the considered sports disciplines may improve cognitive processing, but each one is associated with different benefits on cognitive performance by possibly stimulating separate brain processing. This kind of information could be crucial to select the more appropriate sport depending on individual demands.

Does sport type matter? The effect of sport discipline on cognitive control strategies in preadolescents

Berchicci, Marika;Bianco, Valentina;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This study aimed to test the effects of specific sport practices on cognitive sensory-motor performance and underlying brain functions in children. Behavioral performance and event-related potentials (ERP) were investigated during a cognitive visuomotor task in 64 preadolescent children practicing racket (Rack) sports, martial arts (Mart), indoor climbing (Clim), or not practicing any sport (controls, Cont). At the behavioral level, response speed and accuracy were studied. At the electrophysiological level, motor, cognitive and sensory-attentional readiness, and post-perceptual attentional functions were investigated. Behavioral results showed that Mart players had the fastest response time (RT). Rack players had the most consistent RT and committed the lowest omission errors. Clim athletes were the most accurate in terms of false alarms. ERP results showed that motor readiness was largest in Mart players. The Rack group had the largest cognitive preparation and the Clim one had the largest sensory-attentional readiness activity. Rack and Mart players had the largest activity associated with post-perceptual attentional processing. This result shows that practicing specific sports may allow differential benefits on cognitive processing. Racket sports seem to stimulate action speed consistency and improve accuracy for omissions, increasing cognitive preparation, and post-perceptual attentional processing. Mart practice may allow a more speed-oriented response behavior, probably due to large motor preparation and allocation of post perceptual attentional resources, but only when response execution is required. Indoor climbing may favor response accuracy reducing unwanted responses as indexed by an increased sensory-attentional readiness. Overall, all the considered sports disciplines may improve cognitive processing, but each one is associated with different benefits on cognitive performance by possibly stimulating separate brain processing. This kind of information could be crucial to select the more appropriate sport depending on individual demands.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/793491
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