Psychophysiological Correlates of Putting Performance: Advancements and Challenges

Douglas Barba, National University, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Poster Number: 42

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


The effectiveness of performance routines prior to the execution of self-paced motor skills have been described from physiological, cognitive, and psychological perspectives with each one shedding light on the different processes involved in skilled motor performance. Pre-shot routines in golf putting have been a useful tool to evaluate the differences within and between participants and performance (Cohen, 1990). Psychophysiological research has demonstrated robust findings in the ability to differentiate skilled performers from lesser performers (Hatfield & Hillman, 2001). When comparing expert and novice archers and shooters, it has been established that experts have exhibited an increase in EEG alpha power in the left hemisphere, indicative of an efficiency of processing. The purpose of this research was to identify and describe the correlates of self-paced putting performance routines using physiological measures. Cortical data was collected during the preparation and completion of 100 putts from a distance of 10 ft. Cortical activity was collected for five frequency bands (alpha slow 8-10 Hz, alpha fast 10-13 Hz, alpha total 8-13 Hz, sigma 12-15 Hz, and beta 13-30 Hz) and 20 EEG sites. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted using generalized estimating equations for repeated measures to estimate the odds of making a successful putt, adjusting for age, gender, expert status, and putts since last success. Multivariate analysis revealed significant differences in success by gender, expertise, and previous success or failure independent of all other variables in the model. Contrary to previous finding participants who were more successful had reduced EEG activity over a number of EEG sites (T4, T3, Fz, F4) and frequency bands (alpha slow 8-10 Hz, alpha fast 10-13 Hz, alpha total 8-13 Hz, sigma 12-15 Hz). These contrary results bring to light a number of concerns regarding the methodology, instrumentation, and ecological implications of psychophysiological assessment and training.

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