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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2006 Jun;46(2):335-43.

Information-processing under incremental levels of physical loads: comparing racquet to combat sports.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neurosciences, Faculty of Science, University El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. salmamouelhi@yahoo.fr

Abstract

AIM:

Skillful performance in combat and racquet sports consists of proficient technique accompanied with efficient information-processing while engaged in moderate to high physical effort. This study examined information processing and decision-making using simple reaction time (SRT) and choice reaction time (CRT) paradigms in athletes of combat sports and racquet ball games while undergoing incrementally increasing physical effort ranging from low to high intensities.

METHODS:

Forty national level experienced athletics in the sports of tennis, table tennis, fencing, and boxing were selected for this study. Each subject performed both simple (SRT) and four-choice reaction time (4-CRT) tasks at rest, and while pedaling on a cycle ergometer at 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% of their own maximal aerobic power (Pmax).

RESULTS:

RM MANCOVA revealed significant sport-type by physical load interaction effect mainly on CRT. Least significant difference (LSD) posthoc contrasts indicated that fencers and tennis players process information faster with incrementally increasing workload, while different patterns were obtained for boxers and table-tennis players. The error rate remained stable for each sport type over all conditions. Between-sport differences in SRT and CRT among the athletes were also noted.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings provide evidence that the 4-CRT is a task that more closely corresponds to the original task athletes are familiar with and utilize in their practices and competitions. However, additional tests that mimic the real world experiences of each sport must be developed and used to capture the nature of information processing and response-selection in specific sports.

PMID:
16823367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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