Exploration of event-related dynamics of brain oscillations in ice hockey shooting.

The research exploring the cognitive dynamics of sport performance has been largely dominated by the exploration of the alpha bandwidth in self-paced, closed skill sports or in resting conditions. Although voluntary (self-paced) movement demonstrates characteristic patterns of electroencephalographic activity, externally paced (stimulus driven) cortical activity is more complex and involves stimulus processing, anticipation, motor preparation, and execution (Neuper & Pfurtscheller, 2001). Thus, the primary purpose of the present study was to explore the event-related dynamics of brain oscillations in the externally paced sport skill of ice hockey shooting. Twenty-eight ice hockey players completed a total of 50 shots on net taken on five possible random targets that illuminated at a random time. This randomization of time and location enabled the evaluation of cue-driven cortical activity during a sport skill. Event-related desynchronization and synchronization of electroencephalographic activity were analyzed from −3 to +0.5 s relative to the cue light, and prior to shot execution was analyzed for multiple spectral bandwidths to explore premovement cortical dynamics. Overall, the results revealed that the cortical patterns of ice hockey shooting differ from that of self-paced, closed-skilled sport. Specifically, theta, alpha, and lower beta bands demonstrated significant widespread event-related desynchronization prior to the external cue (target light), and event-related synchronization (or reduction of event-related desynchronization) occurred only after the cue appeared. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)