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The influence of expertise on brain activation of the action observation network during anticipation of tennis and volleyball serves.

Balser N, Lorey B, Pilgramm S, Naumann T, Kindermann S, Stark R, Zentgraf K, Williams AM, Munzert J - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: In many daily activities, and especially in sport, it is necessary to predict the effects of others' actions in order to initiate appropriate responses.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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Sport Science, University of Giessen Giessen, Germany.

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.

No MeSH data available.


Mean percentage of correct responses in the Tennis Anticipation and the Volleyball Anticipation condition of the tennis experts and the volleyball experts. Bars represent SD.
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Figure 2: Mean percentage of correct responses in the Tennis Anticipation and the Volleyball Anticipation condition of the tennis experts and the volleyball experts. Bars represent SD.

Mentions: In the tennis anticipation condition, tennis experts gave correct answers on an average of 65.42% (SD = 10.12) of trials, while volleyball experts reported correct responses on 61.14% (SD = 8.46) of trials. When anticipating volleyball serves, volleyball experts had a mean accuracy score of 74.19% (SD = 7.76), whereas tennis experts responded correctly on an average of 68.54% (SD = 8.05). In both groups the number of correct responses was significantly above chance level for the anticipation of the tennis [ttennis experts(14) = 5.90, p < 0.001; tvolleyball experts(15) = 5.26, p < 0.001] as well as for the volleyball serves [ttennis experts(14) = 8.92, p < 0.001; tvolleyball experts(15) = 12.59, p < 0.001]. A 2 (Domain of expertise) × 2 (Anticipation task) ANOVA with repeated measures for the last factor revealed a significant interaction between both factors, F(1, 29) = 5.66, p = 0.024, η2 = 0.163 (with higher scores for correct anticipation in each sport for the respective expert group compared to the less experienced group), as well as a significant main effect on the Anticipation task, F(1, 29) = 14.76, p = 0.001, η2 =0.337 (higher scores for correct anticipation in volleyball) (cf. Figure 2). No significant main effect was reported for the between-subject factor Domain of expertise, F(1, 29) < 1, ns.


The influence of expertise on brain activation of the action observation network during anticipation of tennis and volleyball serves.

Balser N, Lorey B, Pilgramm S, Naumann T, Kindermann S, Stark R, Zentgraf K, Williams AM, Munzert J - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Mean percentage of correct responses in the Tennis Anticipation and the Volleyball Anticipation condition of the tennis experts and the volleyball experts. Bars represent SD.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4117995&req=5

Figure 2: Mean percentage of correct responses in the Tennis Anticipation and the Volleyball Anticipation condition of the tennis experts and the volleyball experts. Bars represent SD.
Mentions: In the tennis anticipation condition, tennis experts gave correct answers on an average of 65.42% (SD = 10.12) of trials, while volleyball experts reported correct responses on 61.14% (SD = 8.46) of trials. When anticipating volleyball serves, volleyball experts had a mean accuracy score of 74.19% (SD = 7.76), whereas tennis experts responded correctly on an average of 68.54% (SD = 8.05). In both groups the number of correct responses was significantly above chance level for the anticipation of the tennis [ttennis experts(14) = 5.90, p < 0.001; tvolleyball experts(15) = 5.26, p < 0.001] as well as for the volleyball serves [ttennis experts(14) = 8.92, p < 0.001; tvolleyball experts(15) = 12.59, p < 0.001]. A 2 (Domain of expertise) × 2 (Anticipation task) ANOVA with repeated measures for the last factor revealed a significant interaction between both factors, F(1, 29) = 5.66, p = 0.024, η2 = 0.163 (with higher scores for correct anticipation in each sport for the respective expert group compared to the less experienced group), as well as a significant main effect on the Anticipation task, F(1, 29) = 14.76, p = 0.001, η2 =0.337 (higher scores for correct anticipation in volleyball) (cf. Figure 2). No significant main effect was reported for the between-subject factor Domain of expertise, F(1, 29) < 1, ns.

Bottom Line: In many daily activities, and especially in sport, it is necessary to predict the effects of others' actions in order to initiate appropriate responses.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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Sport Science, University of Giessen Giessen, Germany.

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.

No MeSH data available.