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Timing Training in Female Soccer Players: Effects on Skilled Movement Performance and Brain Responses
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0839-3681
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0366-4609
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4458-6475
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 12, article id 311Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although trainers and athletes consider “good timing skills” critical for optimal sport performance, little is known in regard to how sport-specific skills may benefit from timing training. Accordingly, this study investigated the effects of timing training on soccer skill performance and the associated changes in functional brain response in elite- and sub-elite female soccer players. Twenty-five players (mean age 19.5 years; active in the highest or second highest divisions in Sweden), were randomly assigned to either an experimental- or a control group. The experimental group (n = 12) was subjected to a 4-week program (12 sessions) of synchronized metronome training (SMT). We evaluated effects on accuracy and variability in a soccer cross-pass task. The associated brain response was captured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while watching videos with soccer-specific actions. SMT improved soccer cross-pass performance, with a significant increase in outcome accuracy, combined with a decrease in outcome variability. SMT further induced changes in the underlying brain response associated with observing a highly familiar soccer-specific action, denoted as decreased activation in the cerebellum post SMT. Finally, decreased cerebellar activation was associated with improved cross-pass performance and sensorimotor synchronization. These findings suggest a more efficient neural recruitment during action observation after SMT. To our knowledge, this is the first controlled study providing behavioral and neurophysiological evidence that timing training may positively influence soccer-skill, while strengthening the action-perception coupling via enhanced sensorimotor synchronization abilities, and thus influencing the underlying brain responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2018. Vol. 12, article id 311
Keywords [en]
timing training, neuroplasticity, fMRI, action observation, action perception, soccer
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150294DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00311OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150294DiVA, id: diva2:1236551
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, 140/10; P2011-0171Available from: 2018-08-02 Created: 2018-08-02 Last updated: 2018-08-06Bibliographically approved

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Sommer, MariusHäger, CharlotteBoraxbekk, Carl-JohanRönnqvist, Louise

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Sommer, MariusHäger, CharlotteBoraxbekk, Carl-JohanRönnqvist, Louise
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Department of PsychologyDepartment of Community Medicine and RehabilitationCentre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR)Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI)
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Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

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