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Uncovering EEG Correlates of Covert Attention in Soccer Goalkeepers: Towards Innovative Sport Training Procedures

Abstract : Advances in sports sciences and neurosciences offer new opportunities to design efficient and motivating sport training tools. For instance, using NeuroFeedback (NF), athletes can learn to self-regulate specific brain rhythms and consequently improve their performances. Here, we focused on soccer goalkeepers’ Covert Visual Spatial Attention (CVSA) abilities, which are essential for these athletes to reach high performances. We looked for Electroencephalography (EEG) markers of CVSA usable for virtual reality-based NF training procedures, i.e., markers that comply with the following criteria: (1) specific to CVSA, (2) detectable in real-time and (3) related to goalkeepers’ performance/expertise. Our results revealed that the best-known EEG marker of CVSA—increased α-power ipsilateral to the attended hemi-field— was not usable since it did not comply with criteria 2 and 3. Nonetheless, we highlighted a significant positive correlation between athletes’ improvement in CVSA abilities and the increase of their α-power at rest. While the specificity of this marker remains to be demonstrated, it complied with both criteria 2 and 3. This result suggests that it may be possible to design innovative ecological training procedures for goalkeepers, for instance using a combination of NF and cognitive tasks performed in virtual reality.
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Contributor : Camille Jeunet <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 3, 2020 - 2:28:10 PM
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Camille Jeunet, Luca Tonin, Louis Albert, Ricardo Chavarriaga, Benoit Bideau, et al.. Uncovering EEG Correlates of Covert Attention in Soccer Goalkeepers: Towards Innovative Sport Training Procedures. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.1705. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-58533-2⟩. ⟨hal-02464753⟩

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