Brain processes associated with faster visuomotor reaction time in racquet sport athletes

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


Visuomotor reaction time (VMRT) is a key determinant for performance in racquet sports such as table tennis. This study aimed to identify the neural perceptual and motor-related correlates of VMRT in athletes and non- athletes; a fundamental step for individualized training regimes aiming to improve VMRT. Electroencephalography (EEG) was used to investigate pattern-reversal and motion onset visual evoked potentials (VEP) in 36 top class badminton players and 28 age-matched non-athletic controls. Subjects were asked to respond to visual stimuli as quickly as possible using a button press thus, allowing to analyze visuomotor transformation processes and to determine VMRT. Furthermore, the latency of muscle activation onset was identified using electromyography (EMG). Athletes exhibited an earlier EMG onset and shorter VMRT in response to both contrast (EMG onset: p=0.015; VMRT: p<0.001) and motion (EMG onset/VMRT: p<0.001) visual cues. This was accompanied by a faster visuomotor transformation as reflected by an earlier activation of the pre- and supplementary motor regions in both conditions (contrast: p=0.015 motion: p=0.009). The athletes' visual perception was faster for motion (p=0.002) but not contrast visual stimuli (p=0.6). Neural variables predicted visuomotor performance across all subjects (contrast: r=0.41, p<0.001; motion: r=0.83, p<0.001) and within the athletes’ group (contrast: r=0.43, p=0.03; motion: r=0.8, p<0.001). These results indicate VEP analysis is an important tool to assess individual differences in visual perception and visuomotor transformation. Therefore, it is of great value for table tennis athletes and coaches aiming to set individual training parameters to improve VMRT.
TitelBook of abstracts of the 15th ITTF Sports Science Congress
Herausgeber*innenMichael Fuchs, Miran Kondrič, Martin Lames
Herausgeber (Verlag)International Table Tennis Federation
ISBN (Print)978-2-8399-2136-7
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2017
VeranstaltungITTF Sports Science Congress - Düsseldorf, Deutschland
Dauer: 27.05.201728.05.2017
Konferenznummer: 15