Motor expertise has recently been associated with differences in domain-general cognition. Studies using averaged neurophysiological signals (e.g., event-related potentials) have shown varying degree of expertise-related differences in neural activity. As a result, the precise mechanisms underlying these differences remain to be described. Here we used multiscale entropy analysis (MSE) to investigate whether the complexity of underlying neural systems working in a wide-range time scales can better explain the cognitive characteristics of athletes with different domains of expertise. Behavioral and electroencephalograms (EEG) measures of athletes practicing an interceptive sport (badminton; n = 17) or a static sport (long-distance running; n = 17) were assessed during a flanker task with varying degrees of response conflict. The interceptive sport players showed superior behavioral performance overall on the task relative to the static sport players. Although both groups exhibited greater sample entropy across most time scales in high-conflict relative to low-conflict trials over the parietal site, this effect was only evident at coarser time scales over the midfrontal site for the interceptive sport players. Together, our results suggest that individual differences in motor expertise may be associated with difference in information-processing capacity and information integration during cognitive processing, as demonstrated by differential cognitive modulation of brain signal variability.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2020 Jan 15|
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