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Title: The influence of expertise on brain activation of the action observation network during anticipation of tennis and volleyball serves
Authors: Balser, N
Lorey, B
Pilgramm, S
Naumann, T
Kindermann, S
Stark, R
Zentgraf, K
Williams, AM
Munzert, J
Keywords: Cerebellum;Functional magnetic resonance imaging;Motor expertise;Sports-related anticipation;Superior parietal lobe
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Citation: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014,
Abstract: In many daily activities, and especially in sport, it is necessary to predict the effects of others' actions in order to initiate appropriate responses. Recently, researchers have suggested that the action-observation network (AON) including the cerebellum plays an essential role during such anticipation, particularly in sport expert performers. In the present study, we examined the influence of task-specific expertise on the AON by investigating differences between two expert groups trained in different sports while anticipating action effects. Altogether, 15 tennis and 16 volleyball experts anticipated the direction of observed tennis and volleyball serves while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The expert group in each sport acted as novice controls in the other sport with which they had only little experience. When contrasting anticipation in both expertise conditions with the corresponding untrained sport, a stronger activation of AON areas (SPL, SMA), and particularly of cerebellar structures, was observed. Furthermore, the neural activation within the cerebellum and the SPL was linearly correlated with participant's anticipation performance, irrespective of the specific expertise. For the SPL, this relationship also holds when an expert performs a domain-specific anticipation task. Notably, the stronger activation of the cerebellum as well as of the SMA and the SPL in the expertise conditions suggests that experts rely on their more fine-tuned perceptual-motor representations that have improved during years of training when anticipating the effects of others' actions in their preferred sport. The association of activation within the SPL and the cerebellum with the task achievement suggests that these areas are the predominant brain sites involved in fast motor predictions. The SPL reflects the processing of domain-specific contextual information and the cerebellum the usage of a predictive internal model to solve the anticipation task. © 2014 Balser, Lorey, Pilgramm, Naumann, Kindermann, Stark, Zentgraf, Williams and Munzert.
ISSN: 1662-5161
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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