The influence of social evaluation on cerebral cortical activity and motor performance: A study of "Real-Life" competition

Bradley D. Hatfield, Michelle E. Costanzo, Ronald N. Goodman, Li Chuan Lo, Hyuk Oh, Jeremy C. Rietschel, Mark Saffer, Trent Bradberry, Jose Contreras-Vidal, Amy Haufler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Motor performance in a social evaluative environment was examined in participants (N. =19) who completed a pistol shooting task under both performance-alone (PA) and competitive (C) conditions. Electroencephalographic (EEG), autonomic, and psychoendocrine activity were recorded in addition to kinematic measures of the aiming behavior. State anxiety, heart rate, and cortisol were modestly elevated during C and accompanied by relative desynchrony of high-alpha power, increased cortico-cortical communication between motor and non-motor regions, and degradation of the fluency of aiming trajectory, but maintenance of performance outcome (i.e., score). The findings reveal that performance in a complex social-evaluative environment characterized by competition results in elevated cortical activity beyond that essentially required for motor performance that translated as less efficient motor behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Competition
  • EEG
  • Human performance
  • Social evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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