Although great progress has been made in our understanding of perceptual-cognitive expertise in team sports, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying such cognitive advantage in the face of multiple, sometimes conflicting, channels of information are not well understood. Two electroencephalographic indices associated with perceptual decisions, the P3 component of event-related potential and alpha inter-trial phase coherence (ITPC), were measured and compared across elite soccer players and non-athletic controls while performing a redundant-target task. Specifically, we adopted an effective diagnostic tool, Systems Factorial Technology, to assess participants’ workload capacity. Soccer players exhibited larger workload capacity while making faster decisions compared with controls. Moreover, this larger workload capacity was associated with modulations of P3 and alpha ITPC when processing two targets relative to one target and one distractor, an effect that was not observed in controls. Together, the present findings offer a possible mechanistic explanation of perceptual-cognitive expertise in the context of team sports.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology