Developing a Performance Brain Training™ Approach for Baseball: A Process Analysis with Descriptive Data
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Neurofeedback may be useful for improving sports performance but few studies have examined this potential. Here we present data of five development players from a major league baseball team. The aims were to evaluate the feasibility of conducting sessions within a professional organization, assess changes in quantitative electroencephalograph (QEEG), NeuroPerformance Profile™, and report qualitative self-report data before and after brain training. The EEG was recorded with 19 electrodes for 20 min of baseline conditions and approximately 21 min of a continuous performance test. The fast Fourier transform analysis provided average cross-spectral matrices for bands delta (1–3.5 Hz), theta (4–7.5 Hz), alpha (8–12 Hz), low beta (13–16 Hz), beta 1 (13–21 Hz), beta 2 (22–32 Hz), and gamma (32–45 Hz) from the pre and post intervention evaluations in the baseline condition of eyes open. The continuous performance test metrics included the errors of omission, errors of commission, response time and response time variability. The 9 scales of the NeuroPerformance Profile™ were examined. The QEEG data, CPT data and NeuroPerformance Profile™ data were all compared between the pre and post 15 sessions of brain training using a within subject paired t test design corrected for multiple comparisons using false discovery rate method. Following brain training, comparative QEEG, CPT and NeuroPerformance Profile™ analyses illustrated significant differences. The QEEG findings of all participants illustrated significant changes within the training parameters but also across other frequency bands and electrode sites. Overall, the positive findings in both objective and subjective measures suggest further inquiry into the utility of brain training for performance enhancement with the specific application of sport is warranted. Particularly QEEG and CPT gains were noted in the areas that correspond to client self-report data demonstrating improvement in attention, decreased intrusive thought patterns and improvements in sleep patterns.
KeywordsNeurofeedback Sport Baseball QEEG Brain Training NeuroPerformance Profile™
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