Sport expertise has been shown to modulate the cognitive advantage in open-skill athletes, with evidence for a greater advantage for athletes practicing interceptive sports relative to strategic sports. However, this conclusion is solely based on central tendency measures such as accuracy or mean reaction time (RT), dismissing important information embedded in the intra-individual temporal dynamics of cognitive performance. This study aimed to better understand the cognitive advantage associated with open-skill sports, with a non-parametric approach assessing cognitive process at the level of RT distribution (i.e., systems factorial technology, SFT). Twenty-eight interceptive sport athletes, 27 strategic sport athletes, and 26 physically active non-athletes performed a go/nogo version of the redundant target task to assess their processing capacity of simultaneously monitoring multiple information channels. SFT was applied to assess resilience capacity, an estimate of workload capacity underlying inhibitory control. Our findings showed that interceptive sport athletes exhibited shorter mean RT relative to non-athletes selectively in the task condition involving distracting information, while strategic sport athletes showed greater resilience capacity over earlier responses relative to the other groups. These findings suggest that the two types of open-skill sports may be associated with different processing specificity, possibly reflecting the domain-specific rules and requirements.
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