Beyond mental training: early effects of combined mindfulness-neurofeedback practice in sport

Davide Crivelli, Michela Balconi, Giulia Fronda, Giulia Fronda

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

[Ita:]The combination of traditional empowerment and neuroscientific techniques has led to the definition of novel neurocognitive enhancement opportunities, such as at workplaces and in sports (Balconi & Crivelli, 2019; Balconi, Pala, Crivelli, & Milone, 2018; Fronda, Balconi, & Crivelli, 2018). In particular, it was shown that practicing mindfulness-based activities with the support of a dedicated neurofeedback device enhances cognitive control and affective regulation skills in people presenting mild-to-moderate stress levels (Balconi, Fronda, & Crivelli, 2018; Crivelli, Fronda, Venturella, & Balconi, 2019b, 2019a). Based on this evidence we aimed at testing neurocognitive enhancement effects of an intensive training program combining mindfulness-based practice with dedicated neurofeedback devices in mildly-stressed young adults and semi-professional athletes. 35 volunteers not regularly involved in sports or physical activity and 15 semi-professional athletes were divided into groups undergoing experimental and active control training programs. The experimental one was based on breathing-awareness practices supported by a wearable neurofeedback, while the active control one included only breathing practices. Before and after training participants underwent standardized neuropsychological and electrophysiological (electroencephalographic measures, EEG) assessment. By comparing pre-and post-training assessment data across groups, we observed a significant reduction of response times at computerized cognitive tasks in athletes who completed the training, as well as a consistent improvement of the N2 event-related potential – an electrophysiological marker of attention regulation processes. Findings are consistent with available observations on cognitive and neural effects of mental training practice (Cahn & Polich, 2006; Crivelli et al., 2019b; Lutz, Slagter, Dunne, & Davidson, 2008), but they also extend them by showing that it is possible to observe short-term training effects even after a limited period of practice. Further, present results suggest that regular physical activity might foster early training effects.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProgram of the 11th International Scientific Conference on Neuroethics and 6th Conference of the Italian Society for Neuroethics (SINe)
PagineN/A
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019
Evento11th International Scientific Conference on Neuroethics and 6th Conference of the Italian Society for Neuroethics (SINe) - Milano
Durata: 15 mag 201917 mag 2019

Convegno

Convegno11th International Scientific Conference on Neuroethics and 6th Conference of the Italian Society for Neuroethics (SINe)
CittàMilano
Periodo15/5/1917/5/19

Keywords

  • EEG
  • Neurocognitive enhancement
  • Neurofeedback

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