Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Assist Experienced Pistol Shooters in Gaining Even-Better Performance Scores
Recently, brain stimulation has been considered as a promising method for the empowerment of athletes’ performance. This study recruited 16 pistol shooters who were randomly assigned to two arms, including the control receiving no intervention and the experimental group receiving either sham or real transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), i.e., anodal stimulation and cathodal suppression over the cerebellar and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) regions, respectively. Our outcome measures were the score and latency to shooting, as well as number of errors and task time in the dynamic tremor and mirror-tracing tasks. Our findings suggested that tDCS vs. sham improves the average shooting score in pistol shooters by 2.3% ± 0.65 (mean ± SEM, p = 0.018). Furthermore, the bullet hole distance from the Air Pistol Target center was found to be significantly shorter in the experimental (tDCS) group (p = 0.02). In the control group, no significant difference was noted between the shooting scores of shooters over the consecutive two sessions. In terms of latency to shooting, no significant difference was noted within groups between both sessions. However, for the dynamic tremor task outcome, there were significantly less errors after real tDCS than after sham stimulation. In addition, the results of the mirror-tracing task in the tDCS group showed significant differences between the sham and real-tDCS sessions favoring the real-tDCS session (p = 0.001). Therefore, concurrent suppression of dlPFC and stimulation of cerebellum through tDCS may increase shooting scores in experienced pistol shooters.
KeywordstDCS Pistol shooters Cerebellum dlPFC
This work was supported by the grant received from DANA Brain Health Institute; Iranian Neuroscience Society, Fars Chapter, Shiraz, Iran.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Baghiatallah University of Medical Sciences (proposal code: 96-06-001639).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of Informed Consent
Informed written consent was obtained from the participants for the research procedure.
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