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Electroencephalographic functional equivalence during observation of action

Holmes, Paul S., Collins, David J. and Calmels, Claire (2006) Electroencephalographic functional equivalence during observation of action. Journal of sports science, 24 (6). pp. 605-16. ISSN 0264-0414

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the variability in cortical activation during physical air-rifle shooting and three different observation conditions. Elite air-rifle shooters performed a 40 shot individual match. Electroencephalograms were recorded from 11 active sites across the cortex during the final 6 s (3 x 2 s epochs) before shot release. Data collection was repeated while shooters watched a large-screen video of their worst shot performance from an internal-visual perspective when seated, standing and standing holding their rifle. The hypothesized differences between the three observation conditions and the physical shooting profile were not shown except at the left anterior temporal site, T5. This finding suggests that observation of performance cannot be differentiated clearly by posture or modified through kinetic and haptic afference, and that visual percepts predominate in observational functional equivalence. However, more functionally equivalent observation reduced the observation/execution variability over the temporal areas. Performer debriefs also identified different perceptions of physiological, psychological and behavioural functional equivalence associated with the different observation conditions. We conclude that elite performers' brains are accessed equally effectively during different observation conditions irrespective of some of the physical factors ascribed to the conditions. However, they may require more functionally matched conditions to attain greater equivalence in temporal areas.

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