Quantitative EEG in sports: performance level estimation of professional female soccer players

Abstract

Purpose

Measuring the peak performance of athletes remains a challenge in movement science and sports psychology. Non-invasive quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) recordings can be used to analyze various factors in sports psychology.

Method

In this context, sports-related psychological factors were used to estimate the performance of Thai professional female soccer players before a competition. The QEEG recordings of thirty-two players were recorded three times: twice before a competition (once a week) and a week after a competition. Four factors of sports psychology were estimated and observed: anxiety, perceptual response to an acute bout of brain activity, assertiveness, and brain central fatigue. A brain topographic map (absolute power) and brain connectivity (coherence and amplitude asymmetry) data were used to analyze sports-related psychological factors. These factors were measurable based on the brain activity of the athletes and could be used to evaluate their performance during competitions by using QEEG values.

Results

Sports-related psychological performance was estimated by Pearson’s correlation coefficients, which revealed that a quick perceptual response to an acute bout of brain activity could predict an athlete’s performance during competition (r = .584, p = .000). Additionally, Spearman’s correlation coefficients were used to estimate athletes performance. The results revealed a strong relationship (\(r_s\) =.634, p = .000), which was derived from the summation of anxiety and perceptual response to an acute bout of brain activity.

Conclusion

Consequently, the results of the present study can provide information to help staff coaches to choose the best performing players, representing an alternative method for accurately selecting key players in the competitive sports community.

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Acknowledgements

This project is supported in part by the National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council, PMU B: Contract No: B05F630050. Throughout this experimental study, the Thai professional female soccer team, Dr. Ampika Nanbancha, and Miss Lattika Tiawongsuwan provided highly valued input.

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Correspondence to Yodchanan Wongsawat.

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Tharawadeepimuk, K., Wongsawat, Y. Quantitative EEG in sports: performance level estimation of professional female soccer players. Health Inf Sci Syst 9, 14 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13755-021-00144-w

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Keywords

  • Quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG)
  • Brain topographic map (absolute power)
  • Brain connectivity (coherence and amplitude asymmetry)
  • Sports psychology
  • Peak performance