Brain Processes and Neurofeedback for Performance Enhancement of Precision Motor Behavior

  • B. Hatfield
  • A. Haufler
  • J. Contreras-Vidal
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5638)


Based on a number of empirical investigations of cerebral cortical dynamics during precision aiming tasks (i.e. marksmanship) employing electroencephalography (EEG) refinement of cortical activity and attenuation of nonessential cortico-cortical communication with the motor planning regions of the brain results in superior performance. Employment of EEG neurofeedback during the aiming period of target shooting designed to reduce cortical activation resulted in improved performance in skilled marksmen. Such an effect implies that refinement of cortical activity is causally related to performance. Recently, we examined cerebral cortical dynamics during the stress of competitive target shooting and observed increased activation and cortico-cortical communication between non-motor and motor regions relative to a practice-alone condition. As predicted, this finding was associated with degradation of shooting performance. These findings imply that neurofeedback targeted to brain regions related to emotional responding may preserve the cortical dynamics associated with superior performance resulting in improved accuracy of precision aiming performance.


electroencephalography (EEG) psychomotor performance cognitive neuroscience stress kinematics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Haufler, A.J., Spalding, T.W., Santa Maria, D.L., Hatfield, B.D.: Neuro-Cognitive Activity During a Self-Paced Visuospatial Task: Comparative EEG Profiles in Marksmen and Novice Shooters. Biol. Psychol. 53, 131–160 (2000)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hatfield, B.D., Hillman, C.H.: The Psychophysiology of Sport: A Mechanistic Understanding of the Psychology of Superior Performance. In: Singer, R.N., Hausenblas, C.H., Janelle, C.M. (eds.) Handbook of Sport Psychology, 2nd edn., pp. 362–386. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kerick, S.E., Hatfield, B.D., Allender, L.E.: Event-Related Cortical Dynamics of Soldiers During Shooting as a Function of Varied Task Demand. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 78(5) Sect. II, B153–B164 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Busk, J., Galbraith, G.C.: EEG Correlates of Visual-Motor Practice in Man. Electroenceph. Clin. Neurophysiol. 38, 415–422 (1975)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Deeny, S., Hillman, C.H., Janelle, C.M., Hatfield, B.D.: Cortico-Cortical Communication and Superior Performance in Skilled Marksman: An EEG Coherence Analysis. J. Exerc. Sport Psychol. 25, 188–204 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A.: Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore (1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Davidson, R.J.: EEG measures of cerebral asymmetry: Conceptual and methodological issues. Int. J. Neurosci. 39, 71–89 (1988)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Davidson, R.J.: Anxiety and Affective Style: Role of Prefrontal Cortex and Amygdala. Biol. Psychiatry 51, 68–80 (2002)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jackson, D.C., Mueller, C.J., Dolski, I., Dalton, K.D., Nitschke, J.B., Urry, H.L., Rosenkranz, M.A., Ryff, C.D., Singer, B.H., Davidson, R.J.: Now You Feel it, Now You Don’t: Frontal Brain Electrical Asymmetry and Individual Differences in Emotion Regulation. Psychol. Sci. 14, 612–617 (2003)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Grafton, S.T., Hari, R., Salenius, S.: The Human Motor System. In: Toga, A.W., Mazziotta, J.C. (eds.) Brain Mapping; The Systems, pp. 331–363. Academic Press, San Diego (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Putnam, L.E., Johnson Jr., R., Roth, W.T.: Guidelines for Reducing the Risk of Disease Transmission in the Psychophysiology Laboratory. Psychophysiol. 29, 127–141 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Contreras-Vidal, J.L., Kerick, S.E.: Independent Component Analysis of Dynamic Brain Responses During Visuomotor Vdaptation. Neuroimage 21, 936–945 (2004)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Hatfield
    • 1
  • A. Haufler
    • 1
  • J. Contreras-Vidal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations