Team handball experts outperform recreational athletes in hand and foot response inhibition : a behavioral study

  • Inhibition is a central component of human behavior. It enables flexible and adaptive behavior by suppressing prepotent motor responses. In former studies, it has been shown that sport athletes acting in dynamic environments exhibit superior motor inhibitory control based on sensory stimuli. So far, existing studies have corroborated this in manual motor response settings only. Therefore, this study addresses the effector specificity of the inhibition benefit in elite athletes compared to physically active controls. A sport-unspecific stop-signal task has been adapted for hand as well as feet usage and 30 elite handball players as well as 30 controls were tested. A repeated-measures ANOVA with the two factors “effector” (hands, feet) and “group” (expert, recreational athletes) was conducted. Our results suggest no group differences in two-choice response times, but a convincing superiority of handball players in inhibitory control (i.e., shorter stop-signal reaction times), predominantly when responding with their hands, with weaker differential effects when responding with their feet. This suggests that motor inhibition might be a comprehensive performance characteristic of sport athletes acting in dynamic environments, detectable predominantly in eye-hand coordination tasks.

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Author:Holger Heppe, Karen ZentgrafGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Markus Raab
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/05/07
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/09/19
Tag:effector specificity; handball; motor expertise; motor inhibition; response inhibition; two-choice RT
Issue:Art. 971
Page Number:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
Copyright © 2019 Heppe and Zentgraf. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 790 Freizeitgestaltung, darstellende Künste, Sport
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0