, Volume 228, Issue 2, pp 193-203
Date: 10 May 2013

Fast-ball sports experts depend on an inhibitory strategy to reprogram their movement timing

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The purpose of our study was to clarify whether an inhibitory strategy is used for reprogramming of movement timing by experts in fast-ball sports when they correct their movement timing due to unexpected environmental changes. We evaluated the influence of disruption of inhibitory function of the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) on reprogramming of movement timing of experts and non-experts in fast-ball sports. The task was to manually press a button to coincide with the arrival of a moving target. The target moved at a constant velocity, and its velocity was suddenly either increased or decreased in some trials. The task was performed either with or without transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which was delivered to the region of the rIFG. Under velocity change conditions without TMS, the experts showed significantly smaller timing errors and a higher rate of reprogramming of movement timing than the non-experts. Moreover, TMS application during the task significantly diminished the expert group’s performance, but not the control group, particularly in the condition where the target velocity decreases. These results suggest that experts use an inhibitory strategy for reprogramming of movement timing. In addition, the rIFG inhibitory function contributes to the superior movement correction of experts in fast-ball sports.