Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Increased Perceptual and Motor Performance of the Arms of Elite Water Polo Players

Increased Perceptual and Motor Performance of the Arms of Elite Water Polo Players Hindawi Applied Bionics and Biomechanics Volume 2019, Article ID 6763470, 10 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/6763470 Research Article Increased Perceptual and Motor Performance of the Arms of Elite Water Polo Players 1 2 1 1 Jovan Gardasevic , Selcuk Akpinar , Stevo Popovic , and Dusko Bjelica Faculty for Sport and Physical Education, University of Montenegro, Niksic 81400, Montenegro Physical Education and Sport Department, Faculty of Education, Nevşehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Nevşehir 50300, Turkey Correspondence should be addressed to Jovan Gardasevic; jovan@ac.me Received 25 July 2018; Revised 12 November 2018; Accepted 9 December 2018; Published 5 February 2019 Academic Editor: Fabio Esposito Copyright © 2019 Jovan Gardasevic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Background. It has been stated that long-term participation in sport training can influence the motor asymmetry of the arms with a decreased interlimb difference. However, whether this pattern is observable in different sports and with different variables, like perceptual performance, still needs to be tested. Therefore, we investigated if long-term sports participation might modify the motor and perceptual performance asymmetries of arms in water polo players. It was hypothesized that water polo players would perform with less interlimb asymmetry in comparison to nonathletes. Methods. Right-handed water polo players and nonathletes were tested on motor performance for both arms during a reaching task. Thirteen water polo players and thirteen nonathletes performed reaching movements under two experimental conditions: (a) right arm and (b) left arm. Velocity, accuracy, hand path deviation from linearity, and reaction time were calculated for each trial and for both arms. The potential interlimb differences in movement performance could be assessed by testing. Results. Consistent with the hypothesis, our findings showed that water polo players displayed substantially less asymmetry in the performance of accuracy and reaction time. Conclusions. These findings suggest that performance asymmetries of arms can be altered via intense long-term practice. 1. Introduction asked to reach targets under no-visual feedback condition [6]. These results suggested that arm preferences reflect decisions that are based on performance differences Approximately 90% of people are right-handed [1, 2]. Many everyday tasks involving tool use, such as writing between the arms, which change with different task condi- with a pencil and using a key, tend to show a right-hand tions. This experience-dependent plasticity in limb selec- preference. Arm preferences were measured to reach an tion, supported by an array of previous studies [6, 7], object extensively located in the working place under differ- suggests that long-term training, in particular in motor ent sensory and motor situations [3]. Supporting this tasks, might lead to systematic changes in performance notion, coordination and accuracy of movements of the left asymmetries. For instance, Teixeira and Okazaki [8] and and right arms were found to be distinctively affected by LA Teixeira and MCT Teixeira [9] contributed some evi- vision and no-vision situations [3–5]. Specifically, right dence that hand selection was modified by unimanual exer- arm accuracy advantage diminishes when the visual feed- cise with the left hand. back is occluded. Moreover, the coordination pattern of A study by Coelho et al. [7] suggested that a more fre- the right arm performance is abundantly reduced with quent usage of the right arm compared to the left arm in visual occlusion. In accordance with these changes, the the working space may be related to having better coordi- selection of the right arm in the contralateral space was nation and accuracy of the right arm. It has been also sug- considerably reduced, which was resulted with the more left gested that the selection of which hand to be used can be arm preference in its own side when participants were affected by intensive training. Mikheev et al. [10] found 2 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics more left arm preference in right-handed elite judoists than 2. Materials and Methods nonathletes. As the judoists use more bimanual hand 2.1. Participants. Thirteen healthy male water polo players movements for attack and defence, it may be reasonable aged 18-20 years (mean = 18.7; SD = 0.75) and thirteen for them to prefer their left arm more compared to nonath- healthy male nonathletes aged 18-20 years (mean = 19.4; letes. In line with this proposition, some researchers SD = 0.66) voluntarily participated in this study. All partici- reported that motor preferences, as well as the cortical rep- pants signed the consent form approved by the Institutional resentations of the body, are not predetermined entities and Review Board of the University of Montenegro, which was can be adapted through experience such as sport or musical in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki as amended practice [11]. A recent study by Maeda et al. [12] also by the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki showed a modification of hand preference between kung [18]. The water polo players’ experience ranged from 7 to fu experts and amateurs, displaying a weaker strength of 10 years (mean = 8 5; SD = 2 04), and they are all currently right-hand selection across kung fu experts compared to playing in the U-21 Montenegrin National water polo team. the hand selection of amateurs. The authors also found a Nonathletes reported no participation in any sports. All par- less asymmetry between arms for some movements specific ticipants of both groups reported right-handedness and to kung fu for experts but not for amateurs. Moreover, it scored above 65% on the extended 35-item handedness ques- has been recently tested whether participation in unimanual tionnaire [19], which is similar to the widely known Edin- [13] and bimanual sports [14] would modify performance burgh Inventory [20]. asymmetries and, therefore, hand preference. The results for the unimanual sport (fencing) displayed considerably less interlimb asymmetry in the performance of the arm 2.2. Experimental Setup. The participants were seated at an reaching for fencers in comparison to nonfencers. Similar adjustable chair with the sensor of the electromagnetic results were found in a bimanual sport (rowing), in which movement tracker (TrackSTAR, Ascension Technology, a significantly lower asymmetry among arms in reaching USA) attached to their right or left forearm, depending on performance in rowers was also observed in comparison which arm will be measured (Figure 1). This setup is assured to nonathletes. Furthermore, Akpinar [15] tested if exten- reaching in the 2D horizontal space in front of the partici- sive basketball training modifies an interlimb difference. pant. One cursor, one start position for each hand, and Basketball players displayed better performance in compar- targets were projected from a 55 flat screen TV, which dis- ison to nonathletes in accuracy and hand path deviation played a custom virtual reality interface. The cursor repre- from linearity. In addition, Youngen [16] found that female sented the index finger of the arm, and its position on the athletes are significantly faster than female nonathletes in TV was updated in real time that was 100 Hz. The TV was movement speed and reaction time. Thus, one of the main vertically placed on a table approximately 2 m away from variables that can be a good predictor of being a successful the participant and 1 m high from the ground. Finger dis- athlete is the reaction time [17]. placement data were recorded at 100 Hz during the partici- Many sports require a high level of perceptual and motor pants’ movements. skill acquisitions. Those requirements are even more impor- tant when the person execute the skills under different situ- ations, like in the water. Thus, in this study, we intended to 2.3. Experimental Design. Three different targets in different ° ° ° examine if long-term water polo training alters the interlimb directions (30 ,60 , and 90 ; see Figure 2) were presented difference for a task requiring perceptual and motor perfor- (one of them for each trial) to the participants to reach from mances. To assure that our water polo players experienced a start position. The start position was displayed as a 2 cm long-term and intense training, we recruited members of diameter circle and placed 20 cm away from the body midline the national team of Montenegro, U-21, where water polo (sternum) to the left or right side for each arm. Each target is a traditional and successful sport. We predict that such was displayed as a 3.5 cm diameter circle. The cursor was dis- long-term and intensive water polo practice, which focuses played as a 1.6 cm diameter circle with crosshair representing on both arms’ motor performance, required to reach and the tip of an index finger. The distance between the start posi- maintain this elite level should result in more efficient trajec- tion and target was set to 30 cm so that each participant could tories with greater accuracy and reaction time for both arms, reach the target easily. The targets were not displayed before as compared to age-matched nonathletes. According to the the initiation of the trial. After positioning the cursor in the results of Akpinar et al. [15, 13] and because water polo start circle for 300 ms, the audiovisual “go” signal was pro- includes mainly unimanual (shooting) and some bimanual vided, and then a target (one of the three targets) appeared (swimming, blocking) movements, it has been hypothesized on the screen, and these triggered participants to move to that extensive practice should increase the motor and per- the target. Each target was displayed after the participant ceptual performance of both arms and decrease the inter- put the cursor in the start circle, so it was a restricted-pace limb difference among water polo players. Please note that trial. Thus, the target cannot be seen earlier, and the partici- previous studies mainly focused on the effect of extensive pants could see and plan the movement after the “go” signal. practice on mainly motor performance asymmetries [12– Participants could take a break during the experiment to 15] and the novelty of the current study is the inclusion of avoid fatigue. In order to avoid the interlimb transfer, two a perceptual requirement during a motor task, which was sessions were applied. Participants performed the task either not tested earlier. right or left arm in one session, and they came to lab to test Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 3 software, and the accuracy and linearity of each reaching movement were calculated. A three-way mixed model ANOVA (target directions; ° ° ° 30 ,60 , and 90 × group; water polo players and nonathlete- s × arms; right and left) was used to investigate whether water polo players have a less interlimb difference at one of three different targets compared to nonathletes. Before running the statistical analysis, the assumptions for MANOVA have been checked and found out that we did not meet the criteria for multicollinearity. Thus, the three-way mixed model ANOVA was conducted for each dependent variable; thus, four different statistical analyses were applied. Post hoc anal- ysis was conducted using a Bonferroni adjustment. Assump- tions for the mixed model ANOVA were checked before running the analysis for each dependent variable, and no vio- lations were found. The significance level was tested at p < 3. Results Both groups, water polo players and nonathletes, made reaches to the three different targets located across the verti- cal space in front of their bodies with their dominant and Figure 1: A participant seated at an adjustable chair with a sensor of nondominant arms. We have a total of four different vari- the electromagnetic movement tracker attached to his left forearm. ables to compare between water polo players and nonathletes and between the arms. Each dependent variable was dis- the other arm in the second session (at least a three-day gap played differently with the subtitles in this section. between sessions). 3.1. Movement Velocity. Figure 3 shows the average magni- tude of the movement velocity for each target for the domi- 2.4. Experimental Task. Participants were asked to perform 60 reaching movements in a vertical plane (20 per target) nant and the nondominant arms across water polo players from the start circle (2 cm in diameter) that represented and nonathletes. As can be seen in Figure 3, the movement velocity looks very similar for both water polo players the starting position to the target (3.5 cm in diameter), which were presented in a randomized order. Participants were (0.75 m/s) and the control group (0.75 m/s). The result of the statistical analysis for the movement instructed to reach for the target rapidly while maintaining accuracy and to stop on the target with no additional correc- velocity displayed only a significant difference for the target tions. Each trial was 1 sec and was began with an auditory main effect (F 1, 24 =91 86, p = 0001, η = 81). The post signal after the cursor (1.25 cm in diameter crosshair) was hoc analysis for the target main effect showed that targets held in the start circle for the duration of 0.3 sec. Accuracy located on 30 degrees (M =0 77 and SD = 0 14 m/s) and 60 was rewarded with 10, 3, and 1 points for landing within degrees (M =0 78 and SD = 0 12 m/s) were reached faster 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 cm diameters from the midpoint of the tar- than the target located on 90 degrees (M =0 71 and SD = get, respectively. 0 13 m/s) (please see Figure 4). Normally, movement velocity can affect the movement accuracy and linearity. In our case, 2.5. Data and Statistical Analysis. To determine interlimb dif- there was no group difference on movement velocity; thus, ferences in the quality of movement performance, we quanti- velocity did not affect the selected dependent variables. fied four dependent measures: (1) movement velocity, (2) movement accuracy (final position error (FPE)), (3) move- 3.2. Final Position Error. Figure 5 shows the average magni- tude of the final position error (FPE) for each target for the ment quality (hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL)), and (4) reaction time (RT). The final position error (FPE) dominant and the nondominant arms across water polo players and nonathletes. As can be seen from the figure, was defined as the Euclidian distance between the center of the target and the 2D final position of the tip of the index fin- water polo players almost showed similar accuracy perfor- ger. The hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL) was mance for both arms for three targets. However, this pattern was not observed for nonathletes. Nonathletes characterized as the ratio between the minor and the major axes of the hand path. The major axis was assigned as the lon- showed better accuracy performance for the dominant compared to nondominant arm for all targets. Moreover, gest distance between any of two points on the hand path, and the minor axis was assigned as the shortest distance per- water polo players’ accuracy performance seems better pendicular to the major axis. The reaction time (RT) was than that of nonathletes. The result of the statistical analysis for the FPE defined as the elapsed time between the presentation of a tar- get on the TV screen and the initiation of the movement to displayed a significant difference between the group and that target. The collected data were analysed using Matlab arms (F 1, 24 =9 61, p = 004, η = 48); arm and target 4 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics No target Target pops up Reaching to presented aer t ft he trail the target initiation 90 90 30 30 Cursor 30 cm Start Circle Figure 2: Experimental design. 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 3: The average value of movement velocity for each target for the dominant and the nondominant arms across water polo players and nonathletes. direction interactions (F 1, 24 =5 37, p = 02, η = 18); target had better accuracy in comparison to 60- and 90-degree targets. group main effect (F 1, 24 =4 45, p = 04, η = 14); arm main effect (F 1, 24 =14 78, p = 0008, η = 78); and tar- 3.3. Hand Path Deviation from Linearity (HPDL). The aver- get main effect (F 1, 24 =22 03, p = 0001, η = 82). Post age magnitude of the hand path deviation from linearity hoc analysis for group × arm interaction displayed (HPDL) for each target direction for water polo players and (Figure 6) that both the nondominant and dominant arms nonathletes is displayed in Figure 7. As can be seen, the non- of water polo players and the dominant arms of nonath- dominant arm of both water polo players and nonathletes letes had significantly better accuracy in comparison to showed more HPDL in comparison to the dominant arm the nondominant arms of nonathletes (p < 05). Post hoc for all three target directions. analysis for arm × target directions showed that the domi- The result of the three-way mixed model ANOVA nant arms performed significantly better accuracy in target displayed only a significant main effect for the arm directions of 60 and 90 degrees in comparison to the non- (F 1, 24 =31 59, p = 0001, η = 76) and target dominant arms (p < 05). The group main effect showed that water polo players overall had better accuracy in com- (F 1, 24 = 154 02, p = 0001, η = 82). The movements with parison to nonathletes (p < 05). The arm main effect also the dominant arm had significantly less curvature than those displayed that the dominant arms overall had significantly with the nondominant arm (p < 05). The main effect of the less FPE than the nondominant arms did (p < 05). The target revealed that the target located at 30 degrees was target main effect showed that reaches to the 30-degree reached with movements of less curvature than targets Movement velocity (sec) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 5 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 30 60 90 Figure 4: The average value of movement velocity among three targets. 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 5: The average magnitude of the final position error (FPE) for each target for the dominant and the nondominant arms for water polo players and nonathletes. located at 60 and 90 degrees. As the reaches to the target very similar RT for all targets for both groups. However, located at 30 degrees were mostly done with a single-joint RT for water polo players is faster than that of nonathletes movement, they could be done with movements of less curva- for all target directions. ture in comparison to the other targets. The result of the three-way mixed model ANOVA for the RT displayed only a significant main effect for the group (F 1, 24 =9 63, p = 004, η = 49) and target 3.4. Reaction Time. The average magnitude of the reaction times (RTs) for each target direction for water polo players (F 1, 24 =4 48, p = 04, η = 16). Water polo players and nonathletes between the dominant and nondominant (M =0 213; SD = 0 07 m/s) had significantly faster RT than arm is displayed in Figure 8. As can be seen, both arms had nonathletes (M =0 293; SD = 0 09 m/s) (Figure 9, p < 05). Final position error (cm) Movement velocity (sec) 6 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 7 Regarding the quality of movement of the nondominant arm of both groups, a larger hand path deviation from linear- ity (HPDL) was shown in relation to the dominant arm for all three directions of targets. Water polo is a sport where most of the manoeuvring with the ball is done with the dominant hand. The dominant hand is more burdened in the training process, so the result that the quality of the movement with the dominant hand is much greater than the nondominant one is somewhat expected. Reaction time (RT) for both arms of water polo players was significantly faster than that for both arms of nonath- letes, which is most likely the result of long-term training. Athletes have to simultaneously perform very intense short exercises and make decisions under strong time pressure [24]. Many researchers demonstrated that experienced players react more quickly than their less experienced counterparts and that there is significantly decreased RT Non-athletes Water polo players in athletes as compared to nonathletes [25]. This phenom- = Non-dominant arm enon is evident in several sports, for example, basketball = Dominant arm [26], table tennis [27], volleyball [28], badminton [29], and football [30]. Kramer et al. [31] found that participants Figure 6: The average magnitude of the final position error (FPE) who completed a six-month aerobic exercise program for the dominant and the nondominant arms for water polo showed improvements in RT. players and nonathletes. In the current study, we have also found faster RTs for water polo players for both their arms in comparison to non- athletes. In water polo, athletes must have quick arm reac- The main effect of the targets revealed that the target located at 90 degrees was reached with faster RT than those located at tions as they often block the opponent’s shots on goal with 30 degrees. both dominant and nondominant arms and those move- ments need to be explosive. Furthermore, reactions under water must be fast with both arms, which can explain the bet- 4. Discussion and Conclusions ter RT of both arms in comparison to that of nonathletes in Previous studies reported that not only unimanual practice this study. As soon as a player in an attack situation notices with the nondominant arm [8, 9] but also bimanual practice any free space in the opponent’s defence, he tries to shoot the ball to the goal; RT must be as fast as possible so that [10, 12, 14, 21] increased the performance of the dominant and nondominant arms for certain tasks. In a recent study, the action is efficient. Likewise, in that split second, the defence player attempts to raise his hand and blocks the shot; it was also stated that professional unimanual training dom- inantly with the right arm can improve the performance of therefore, RT is important here as well. Such situations are both the right and left arms [13]. constantly shifting with all players, which could explain their better RT than that of nonathletes. It has also been found that It has generally been accepted that athletes have better performance in some motor tasks, such as balance [22] and RT for the target located at 90 degrees is significantly faster in strength [23], than nonathletes do. Moreover, superior per- comparison to the targets located at 30 degrees. This is logical formance of athletes as a result of long-term practice has also because water polo players mainly shoot towards the goal been observed in some perceptual motor skills, such as reac- with an arm that is over the head and at approximately 90 degrees to the surface of the water. Such situations are more tion time [17]. In addition to scoring better in perceptual motor skills, athletes also displayed better motor perfor- common than other arm positions from which shots are mance in comparison to nonathletes [13, 14]. made. The same situation is observed during defence Similar to the findings reported in previous studies [6, 7], attempts and during blocking attempts, provided that in such the nonathlete group in this study showed significant inter- situations dominant and nondominant hands have been used alternately, depending on which side the opponent player limb asymmetries in movement accuracy (FPE) and in move- ment quality (HPDL) such that right arm reaches were with the ball is located. However, it is important for the straighter and more accurate to targets across the workspace. trainers to train the players to block the shoots in different The scores of the nonathletes were, generally, very similar to angles like 30 and 60 degrees. Therefore, this will provide those in recent studies [6, 7, 13, 14]. However, the water polo the possibility of a more effective defence against some shots from the sides. player group in this study demonstrated more symmetric patterns of arm performance that were associated with sub- In water polo, the optimal technique is essential for stantially better accuracy. This may be an expected result, improving performance. Akpinar [14] found that asymme- since the trainings with water polo players over the years try of hand performance with rowers is reduced because required daily work on improving precision, related to the both arms should coordinately work together to perform the technique efficiently. Thus, performing skillful strokes way of passing, shooting, and precise swimming. Final position error (cm) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 7 0.07 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 7: The average magnitude of the hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL) for each target direction for water polo players and nonathletes. 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 8: The average magnitude of the reaction time (RT) for each target direction for water polo players and nonathletes between the dominant and nondominant arms. consistently requires expertise and is a precondition for the with the dominant and nondominant arms. Symmetrical effective bimanual control of the arms. In this respect, the performance of both body sides has also been found in decreased interlimb difference found in the current study taekwondo [32]. Taekwondo athletes displayed similar per- in water polo players may be a requirement for skillful per- formance of the left and the right sides of their body in formance for swimming, manoeuvring under water, and some tests of motor abilities (flexibility, strength, and maintaining balance in the water as well as blocking kicks explosive leg strength) and performance quality tests of Hand path deviation from linearity Reaction time (sec) 8 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics participation can improve both arms’ performance in the 0.3 case of reaching movements. In general, superior motor per- formance during simple motor tasks for athletes and musi- cians over nonelite performers has previously been reported 0.25 [24, 25, 40]. In water polo, arms are used for different pur- poses: i.e., the left arm is used to help in swimming and main- taining balance and in defence, and the right arm is practiced 0.2 extensively to wield the ball. This can thus explain the better perceptual and motor performance of water polo players with both their arms in comparison to the performance of 0.15 nonathletes. It can also give guidance to their trainers what they have done well and also what they need to improve in the player’s training process. Regarding the talent identifica- 0.1 tion for water polo, trainers should consider these motor and perceptual parameters to select the beginners for this sport. This study showed the very intriguing result that elite water 0.05 polo players had significantly better accuracy with signifi- cantly shorter RTs than nonathletes. It could be expected that a shorter RT of a reaching movement will likely make the Non-athletes Water polo players movement less accurate; however, this was not the case in this study with the elite water polo players. Over the Figure 9: The average magnitude of the reaction time (RT) for water polo players and nonathletes. long-term training, players might improve the ability to per- form fast reacted and accurate movements. Whether water polo players are less asymmetric because of practice in water two basic taekwondo techniques. This may imply that ath- letes need to improve both body sides to acquire profi- polo or whether symmetry in performance is associated with ciency in their sports. an implicit advantage that might influence competitive selec- Neurophysiological characteristics can define a superior tion for water polo cannot be conclusively addressed with the performance of any athlete. When performing skilled move- current study design. The current study has a limitation for the selection of a ments under different conditions and in changing environ- ments, the athlete’s brain needs to adapt to various types of control group; thus, future studies should focus on compar- behaviour [33]. This can include perception, decision-mak- ing perceptual and motor performance asymmetries in ing, motor preparation, and execution of movements. For different types of sports to be able to understand the funda- instance, in order to perform a skilled movement, the ner- mental characteristics of sports. Longitudinal studies should also be conducted to investigate whether the decreased vous system needs to activate required motor unit(s) in a proper manner at the right time and in the correct sequence interlimb difference in water polo is a result of a long- [34]. This statement suggests that neural activities in the ath- term practice or whether it had existed before starting the letes’ brains are modified with the participation of long-term sport. Moreover, in addition to the perceptual and motor per- training activities [35]. Confirmation has been obtained from formances, investigating athletes’ neurophysiological back- ground would be sufficient to make a connection between some studies showing changes and shifts in brain activation among both musicians [36] and athletes [37] due to long- motor and neural mechanisms. term practice. Specifically, motor-related cortical potentials, reflecting the movement preparation process, were found to Data Availability be shorter and smaller in athletes compared to nonathletes [38]. Thus, the brain can easily be shaped by long-term skill The data used to support the findings of this study are avail- acquisition, which also can improve performance when able from the corresponding author upon request. carrying out another skill or movement, such as the one observed in the current study. The water polo players with Additional Points improved neural activations can have a better perception, decision-making, motor preparation, and execution of move- Consent for Publication. The authors gave their consent for ments for both arms in comparison to nonathletes. In the publication. future, it will be interesting to study similar characteristics with athletes of a similar skill level across sports that do not require unimanual activity. Ethical Approval Motor performance symmetries found in this study with water polo players were similar to those of the previous stud- All participants signed the consent form approved by the ies by Akpinar et al. [13] and Akpinar [14]. Even though it Institutional Review Board of the University of Montenegro, has been previously stated in some studies that the effect of which was in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki as a short-term unimanual practice on motor performance of amended by the World Medical Association Declaration of both arms can be different [39], it seems that long-term sport Helsinki [20]. Reaction time (sec) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 9 [15] S. Akpinar, “Decreased interlimb differences in female basket- Conflicts of Interest ball players,” The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fit- The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. ness, vol. 56, no. 12, pp. 1448–1454, 2016. [16] L. Youngen, “A comparison of reaction and movement times of women athletes and nonathletes,” Research Quarterly for Acknowledgments Exercise and Sport, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 349–355, 2013. [17] J. S. Y. Chan, A. C. N. Wong, Y. Liu, J. Yu, and J. H. Yan, The authors wish to thank the members of the Water Polo “Fencing expertise and physical fitness enhance action inhibi- Association of Montenegro for their cooperation and the stu- tion,” Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 509– dents at the Marine Faculty of the University of Montenegro. 514, 2011. [18] World Medical Association, “World Medical Association Dec- laration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research References involving human subjects,” The Journal of the American Med- ical Association, vol. 310, no. 20, pp. 2191–2194, 2013. [1] E. Caliskan and S. Dane, “Left-handedness in blind and sighted [19] C. J. Hull, “A study of laterality test items,” Journal of Experi- children,” Laterality, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 205–213, 2009. mental Education, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 287–290, 2015. [2] E. Vuoksimaa, M. Koskenvuo, R. J. Rose, and J. Kaprio, “Ori- [20] R. C. Oldfield, “The assessment and analysis of handedness: gins of handedness: a nationwide study of 30, 161 adults,” Neu- the Edinburgh inventory,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 9, no. 1, ropsychologia, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 1294–1301, 2009. pp. 97–113, 1971. [3] R. G. Carson, R. Chua, D. Elliott, and D. Goodman, “The con- [21] T. Stockel and M. Weigelt, “Plasticity of human handedness: tribution of vision to asymmetries in manual aiming,” Neurop- decreased one-hand bias and inter-manual performance sychologia, vol. 28, no. 11, pp. 1215–1220, 1990. asymmetry in expert basketball players,” Journal of Sports Sci- [4] A. Lenhard and J. Hoffmann, “Constant error in aiming move- ences, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 1037–1045, 2012. ments without visual feedback is higher in the preferred hand,” [22] C. D. Davlin, “Dynamic balance in high level athletes,” Percep- Laterality, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 227–238, 2007. tual and Motor Skills, vol. 98, Supplement 3, pp. 1171–1176, [5] R. Sainburg, “Evidence for a dynamic-dominance hypothesis of handedness,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 142, no. 2, [23] G. Sleivert, R. Backus, and H. Wenger, “Neuromuscular differ- pp. 241–258, 2002. ences between volleyball players, middle distance runners and [6] A. Przybyla, C. J. Coelho, S. Akpinar, S. Kirazci, and R. L. Sain- untrained controls,” International Journal of Sports Medicine, burg, “Sensorimotor performance asymmetries predict hand vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 390–398, 1995. selection,” Neuroscience, vol. 228, pp. 349–360, 2013. [24] D. Delignières, J. Brisswalter, and P. Legros, “Influence of [7] C. J. Coelho, A. Przybyla, V. Yadav, and R. L. Sainburg, “Hemi- physical exercise on choice reaction time in sport experts: the spheric differences in the control of limb dynamics: a link mediating role of resource allocation,” Journal of Human between arm performance asymmetries and arm selection pat- Movement Studies, vol. 27, pp. 173–188, 1994. terns,” Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 109, no. 3, pp. 825–838, [25] V. Nougier, H. Ripoll, and J. F. Stein, “Orienting of attention with highly skilled athletes,” International Journal of Sport Psy- [8] L. A. Teixeira and V. H. A. Okazaki, “Shift of manual prefer- chology, vol. 20, pp. 205–223, 1989. ence by lateralized practice generalizes to related motor tasks,” [26] T. Ghuntla, H. B. Mehta, P. A. Gokhale, and C. J. Shah, “A Experimental Brain Research, vol. 183, no. 3, pp. 417–423, comparative study of visual reaction time in basketball players and healthy controls,” NJIRM, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 49–51, 2012. [9] L. A. Teixeira and M. C. T. Teixeira, “Shift of manual prefer- [27] M. K. Bhabhor, K. Vidja, P. Bhanderi, S. Dodhia, R. Kathrotia, ence in right-handers following unimanual practice,” Brain and V. Joshi, “A comparative study of visual reaction time in and Cognition, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 238–243, 2007. table tennis players and healthy controls,” Indian Journal of [10] M. Mikheev, C. Mohr, S. Afanasiev, T. Landis, and G. Thut, Physiology and Pharmacology, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 439–442, “Motor control and cerebral hemispheric specialization in highly qualified judo wrestlers,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 40, [28] Z. Hascelik, O. Basgöze, K. Türker, S. Narman, and R. Ozker, no. 8, pp. 1209–1219, 2002. “The effects of physical training on physical fitness tests and [11] T. Elbert, C. Pantev, C. Wienbruch, B. Rockstroh, and E. Taub, auditory and visual reaction times of volleyball players,” The “Increased cortical representation of the fingers of the left Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol. 29, no. 3, hand in string players,” Science, vol. 270, no. 5234, pp. 305– pp. 234–239, 1989. 307, 1995. [29] S. Dube, S. Mungal, and M. Kulkarni, “Simple visual reaction [12] R. S. Maeda, R. M. Souza, and L.-A. Teixeira, “From specific time in badminton players: a comparative study,” National training to global shift of manual preference in kung Fu Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 5, experts,” Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 73– no. 1, pp. 18–20, 2015. 85, 2014. [30] R. Dokuyucu, T. Demir, M. Bilgic et al., “Comparison of reac- [13] S. Akpinar, R. L. Sainburg, S. Kirazci, and A. Przybyla, “Motor tion time and body mass index in football training children asymmetry in elite fencers,” Journal of Motor Behavior, vol. 47, and sedentary children,” Medicina dello Sport, vol. 68, no. 1, no. 4, pp. 302–311, 2014. pp. 43–48, 2015. [14] S. Akpinar, “The effect of long-term bimanual training on arm [31] A. F. Kramer, S. Hahn, and E. McAuley, “Influence of aerobic selection during reaching tasks,” Kinesiology, vol. 47, no. 2, fitness on the neurocognitive function of older adults,” Journal pp. 226–235, 2015. of Aging and Physical Activity, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 379–385, 2000. 10 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics [32] D. Čular, D. Miletić, and A. Miletić, “Influence of dominant and non-dominant body side on specific performance in taek- wondo,” Kinesiology, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 184–193, 2000. [33] H. Nakata, M. Yoshie, A. Miura, and K. Kudo, “Characteristics of the athletes’ brain: evidence from neurophysiology and neuroimaging,” Brain Research Reviews, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 197–211, 2010. [34] J. B. Nielsen and L. G. Cohen, “The Olympic brain. Does cor- ticospinal plasticity play a role in acquisition of skills required for high-performance sports,” Journal of Physiology, vol. 586, no. 1, pp. 65–70, 2008. [35] K. A. Ericsson and A. C. Lehmann, “Expert and exceptional performance: evidence of maximal adaptation to task con- straints,” Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 273–305, 1999. [36] M. C. Ridding, B. Brouwer, and M. A. Nordstrom, “Reduced interhemispheric inhibition in musicians,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 133, no. 2, pp. 249–253, 2000. [37] A. J. Pearce, G. W. Thickbroom, M. L. Byrnes, and F. L. Mas- taglia, “Functional reorganisation of the corticomotor projec- tion to the hand in skilled racquet players,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 130, no. 2, pp. 238–243, 2000. [38] Y. Kita, A. Mori, and M. Nara, “Two types of movement- related cortical potentials preceding wrist extension in humans,” Neuroreport, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 2221–2225, 2001. [39] P. K. Mutha and R. L. Sainburg, “Shared bimanual tasks elicit bimanual reflexes during movement,” Journal of Neurophysiol- ogy, vol. 102, no. 6, pp. 3142–3155, 2009. [40] A. C. Rodrigues, M. A. Loureiro, and P. Caramelli, “Long-term musical training may improve different forms of visual attention ability,” Brain and Cognition, vol. 82, no. 3, pp. 229–235, 2013. International Journal of Advances in Rotating Machinery Multimedia Journal of The Scientific Journal of Engineering World Journal Sensors Hindawi Hindawi Publishing Corporation Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 http://www www.hindawi.com .hindawi.com V Volume 2018 olume 2013 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 Journal of Control Science and Engineering Advances in Civil Engineering Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 Submit your manuscripts at www.hindawi.com Journal of Journal of Electrical and Computer Robotics Engineering Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 VLSI Design Advances in OptoElectronics International Journal of Modelling & Aerospace International Journal of Simulation Navigation and in Engineering Engineering Observation Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Volume 2018 Volume 2018 Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com www.hindawi.com www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 International Journal of Active and Passive International Journal of Antennas and Advances in Chemical Engineering Propagation Electronic Components Shock and Vibration Acoustics and Vibration Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Bionics and Biomechanics Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Increased Perceptual and Motor Performance of the Arms of Elite Water Polo Players

Loading next page...
 
/lp/hindawi-publishing-corporation/increased-perceptual-and-motor-performance-of-the-arms-of-elite-water-tSdkUHm5gD
Publisher
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Jovan Gardasevic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
ISSN
1176-2322
eISSN
1754-2103
DOI
10.1155/2019/6763470
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Hindawi Applied Bionics and Biomechanics Volume 2019, Article ID 6763470, 10 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/6763470 Research Article Increased Perceptual and Motor Performance of the Arms of Elite Water Polo Players 1 2 1 1 Jovan Gardasevic , Selcuk Akpinar , Stevo Popovic , and Dusko Bjelica Faculty for Sport and Physical Education, University of Montenegro, Niksic 81400, Montenegro Physical Education and Sport Department, Faculty of Education, Nevşehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Nevşehir 50300, Turkey Correspondence should be addressed to Jovan Gardasevic; jovan@ac.me Received 25 July 2018; Revised 12 November 2018; Accepted 9 December 2018; Published 5 February 2019 Academic Editor: Fabio Esposito Copyright © 2019 Jovan Gardasevic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Background. It has been stated that long-term participation in sport training can influence the motor asymmetry of the arms with a decreased interlimb difference. However, whether this pattern is observable in different sports and with different variables, like perceptual performance, still needs to be tested. Therefore, we investigated if long-term sports participation might modify the motor and perceptual performance asymmetries of arms in water polo players. It was hypothesized that water polo players would perform with less interlimb asymmetry in comparison to nonathletes. Methods. Right-handed water polo players and nonathletes were tested on motor performance for both arms during a reaching task. Thirteen water polo players and thirteen nonathletes performed reaching movements under two experimental conditions: (a) right arm and (b) left arm. Velocity, accuracy, hand path deviation from linearity, and reaction time were calculated for each trial and for both arms. The potential interlimb differences in movement performance could be assessed by testing. Results. Consistent with the hypothesis, our findings showed that water polo players displayed substantially less asymmetry in the performance of accuracy and reaction time. Conclusions. These findings suggest that performance asymmetries of arms can be altered via intense long-term practice. 1. Introduction asked to reach targets under no-visual feedback condition [6]. These results suggested that arm preferences reflect decisions that are based on performance differences Approximately 90% of people are right-handed [1, 2]. Many everyday tasks involving tool use, such as writing between the arms, which change with different task condi- with a pencil and using a key, tend to show a right-hand tions. This experience-dependent plasticity in limb selec- preference. Arm preferences were measured to reach an tion, supported by an array of previous studies [6, 7], object extensively located in the working place under differ- suggests that long-term training, in particular in motor ent sensory and motor situations [3]. Supporting this tasks, might lead to systematic changes in performance notion, coordination and accuracy of movements of the left asymmetries. For instance, Teixeira and Okazaki [8] and and right arms were found to be distinctively affected by LA Teixeira and MCT Teixeira [9] contributed some evi- vision and no-vision situations [3–5]. Specifically, right dence that hand selection was modified by unimanual exer- arm accuracy advantage diminishes when the visual feed- cise with the left hand. back is occluded. Moreover, the coordination pattern of A study by Coelho et al. [7] suggested that a more fre- the right arm performance is abundantly reduced with quent usage of the right arm compared to the left arm in visual occlusion. In accordance with these changes, the the working space may be related to having better coordi- selection of the right arm in the contralateral space was nation and accuracy of the right arm. It has been also sug- considerably reduced, which was resulted with the more left gested that the selection of which hand to be used can be arm preference in its own side when participants were affected by intensive training. Mikheev et al. [10] found 2 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics more left arm preference in right-handed elite judoists than 2. Materials and Methods nonathletes. As the judoists use more bimanual hand 2.1. Participants. Thirteen healthy male water polo players movements for attack and defence, it may be reasonable aged 18-20 years (mean = 18.7; SD = 0.75) and thirteen for them to prefer their left arm more compared to nonath- healthy male nonathletes aged 18-20 years (mean = 19.4; letes. In line with this proposition, some researchers SD = 0.66) voluntarily participated in this study. All partici- reported that motor preferences, as well as the cortical rep- pants signed the consent form approved by the Institutional resentations of the body, are not predetermined entities and Review Board of the University of Montenegro, which was can be adapted through experience such as sport or musical in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki as amended practice [11]. A recent study by Maeda et al. [12] also by the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki showed a modification of hand preference between kung [18]. The water polo players’ experience ranged from 7 to fu experts and amateurs, displaying a weaker strength of 10 years (mean = 8 5; SD = 2 04), and they are all currently right-hand selection across kung fu experts compared to playing in the U-21 Montenegrin National water polo team. the hand selection of amateurs. The authors also found a Nonathletes reported no participation in any sports. All par- less asymmetry between arms for some movements specific ticipants of both groups reported right-handedness and to kung fu for experts but not for amateurs. Moreover, it scored above 65% on the extended 35-item handedness ques- has been recently tested whether participation in unimanual tionnaire [19], which is similar to the widely known Edin- [13] and bimanual sports [14] would modify performance burgh Inventory [20]. asymmetries and, therefore, hand preference. The results for the unimanual sport (fencing) displayed considerably less interlimb asymmetry in the performance of the arm 2.2. Experimental Setup. The participants were seated at an reaching for fencers in comparison to nonfencers. Similar adjustable chair with the sensor of the electromagnetic results were found in a bimanual sport (rowing), in which movement tracker (TrackSTAR, Ascension Technology, a significantly lower asymmetry among arms in reaching USA) attached to their right or left forearm, depending on performance in rowers was also observed in comparison which arm will be measured (Figure 1). This setup is assured to nonathletes. Furthermore, Akpinar [15] tested if exten- reaching in the 2D horizontal space in front of the partici- sive basketball training modifies an interlimb difference. pant. One cursor, one start position for each hand, and Basketball players displayed better performance in compar- targets were projected from a 55 flat screen TV, which dis- ison to nonathletes in accuracy and hand path deviation played a custom virtual reality interface. The cursor repre- from linearity. In addition, Youngen [16] found that female sented the index finger of the arm, and its position on the athletes are significantly faster than female nonathletes in TV was updated in real time that was 100 Hz. The TV was movement speed and reaction time. Thus, one of the main vertically placed on a table approximately 2 m away from variables that can be a good predictor of being a successful the participant and 1 m high from the ground. Finger dis- athlete is the reaction time [17]. placement data were recorded at 100 Hz during the partici- Many sports require a high level of perceptual and motor pants’ movements. skill acquisitions. Those requirements are even more impor- tant when the person execute the skills under different situ- ations, like in the water. Thus, in this study, we intended to 2.3. Experimental Design. Three different targets in different ° ° ° examine if long-term water polo training alters the interlimb directions (30 ,60 , and 90 ; see Figure 2) were presented difference for a task requiring perceptual and motor perfor- (one of them for each trial) to the participants to reach from mances. To assure that our water polo players experienced a start position. The start position was displayed as a 2 cm long-term and intense training, we recruited members of diameter circle and placed 20 cm away from the body midline the national team of Montenegro, U-21, where water polo (sternum) to the left or right side for each arm. Each target is a traditional and successful sport. We predict that such was displayed as a 3.5 cm diameter circle. The cursor was dis- long-term and intensive water polo practice, which focuses played as a 1.6 cm diameter circle with crosshair representing on both arms’ motor performance, required to reach and the tip of an index finger. The distance between the start posi- maintain this elite level should result in more efficient trajec- tion and target was set to 30 cm so that each participant could tories with greater accuracy and reaction time for both arms, reach the target easily. The targets were not displayed before as compared to age-matched nonathletes. According to the the initiation of the trial. After positioning the cursor in the results of Akpinar et al. [15, 13] and because water polo start circle for 300 ms, the audiovisual “go” signal was pro- includes mainly unimanual (shooting) and some bimanual vided, and then a target (one of the three targets) appeared (swimming, blocking) movements, it has been hypothesized on the screen, and these triggered participants to move to that extensive practice should increase the motor and per- the target. Each target was displayed after the participant ceptual performance of both arms and decrease the inter- put the cursor in the start circle, so it was a restricted-pace limb difference among water polo players. Please note that trial. Thus, the target cannot be seen earlier, and the partici- previous studies mainly focused on the effect of extensive pants could see and plan the movement after the “go” signal. practice on mainly motor performance asymmetries [12– Participants could take a break during the experiment to 15] and the novelty of the current study is the inclusion of avoid fatigue. In order to avoid the interlimb transfer, two a perceptual requirement during a motor task, which was sessions were applied. Participants performed the task either not tested earlier. right or left arm in one session, and they came to lab to test Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 3 software, and the accuracy and linearity of each reaching movement were calculated. A three-way mixed model ANOVA (target directions; ° ° ° 30 ,60 , and 90 × group; water polo players and nonathlete- s × arms; right and left) was used to investigate whether water polo players have a less interlimb difference at one of three different targets compared to nonathletes. Before running the statistical analysis, the assumptions for MANOVA have been checked and found out that we did not meet the criteria for multicollinearity. Thus, the three-way mixed model ANOVA was conducted for each dependent variable; thus, four different statistical analyses were applied. Post hoc anal- ysis was conducted using a Bonferroni adjustment. Assump- tions for the mixed model ANOVA were checked before running the analysis for each dependent variable, and no vio- lations were found. The significance level was tested at p < 3. Results Both groups, water polo players and nonathletes, made reaches to the three different targets located across the verti- cal space in front of their bodies with their dominant and Figure 1: A participant seated at an adjustable chair with a sensor of nondominant arms. We have a total of four different vari- the electromagnetic movement tracker attached to his left forearm. ables to compare between water polo players and nonathletes and between the arms. Each dependent variable was dis- the other arm in the second session (at least a three-day gap played differently with the subtitles in this section. between sessions). 3.1. Movement Velocity. Figure 3 shows the average magni- tude of the movement velocity for each target for the domi- 2.4. Experimental Task. Participants were asked to perform 60 reaching movements in a vertical plane (20 per target) nant and the nondominant arms across water polo players from the start circle (2 cm in diameter) that represented and nonathletes. As can be seen in Figure 3, the movement velocity looks very similar for both water polo players the starting position to the target (3.5 cm in diameter), which were presented in a randomized order. Participants were (0.75 m/s) and the control group (0.75 m/s). The result of the statistical analysis for the movement instructed to reach for the target rapidly while maintaining accuracy and to stop on the target with no additional correc- velocity displayed only a significant difference for the target tions. Each trial was 1 sec and was began with an auditory main effect (F 1, 24 =91 86, p = 0001, η = 81). The post signal after the cursor (1.25 cm in diameter crosshair) was hoc analysis for the target main effect showed that targets held in the start circle for the duration of 0.3 sec. Accuracy located on 30 degrees (M =0 77 and SD = 0 14 m/s) and 60 was rewarded with 10, 3, and 1 points for landing within degrees (M =0 78 and SD = 0 12 m/s) were reached faster 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 cm diameters from the midpoint of the tar- than the target located on 90 degrees (M =0 71 and SD = get, respectively. 0 13 m/s) (please see Figure 4). Normally, movement velocity can affect the movement accuracy and linearity. In our case, 2.5. Data and Statistical Analysis. To determine interlimb dif- there was no group difference on movement velocity; thus, ferences in the quality of movement performance, we quanti- velocity did not affect the selected dependent variables. fied four dependent measures: (1) movement velocity, (2) movement accuracy (final position error (FPE)), (3) move- 3.2. Final Position Error. Figure 5 shows the average magni- tude of the final position error (FPE) for each target for the ment quality (hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL)), and (4) reaction time (RT). The final position error (FPE) dominant and the nondominant arms across water polo players and nonathletes. As can be seen from the figure, was defined as the Euclidian distance between the center of the target and the 2D final position of the tip of the index fin- water polo players almost showed similar accuracy perfor- ger. The hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL) was mance for both arms for three targets. However, this pattern was not observed for nonathletes. Nonathletes characterized as the ratio between the minor and the major axes of the hand path. The major axis was assigned as the lon- showed better accuracy performance for the dominant compared to nondominant arm for all targets. Moreover, gest distance between any of two points on the hand path, and the minor axis was assigned as the shortest distance per- water polo players’ accuracy performance seems better pendicular to the major axis. The reaction time (RT) was than that of nonathletes. The result of the statistical analysis for the FPE defined as the elapsed time between the presentation of a tar- get on the TV screen and the initiation of the movement to displayed a significant difference between the group and that target. The collected data were analysed using Matlab arms (F 1, 24 =9 61, p = 004, η = 48); arm and target 4 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics No target Target pops up Reaching to presented aer t ft he trail the target initiation 90 90 30 30 Cursor 30 cm Start Circle Figure 2: Experimental design. 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 3: The average value of movement velocity for each target for the dominant and the nondominant arms across water polo players and nonathletes. direction interactions (F 1, 24 =5 37, p = 02, η = 18); target had better accuracy in comparison to 60- and 90-degree targets. group main effect (F 1, 24 =4 45, p = 04, η = 14); arm main effect (F 1, 24 =14 78, p = 0008, η = 78); and tar- 3.3. Hand Path Deviation from Linearity (HPDL). The aver- get main effect (F 1, 24 =22 03, p = 0001, η = 82). Post age magnitude of the hand path deviation from linearity hoc analysis for group × arm interaction displayed (HPDL) for each target direction for water polo players and (Figure 6) that both the nondominant and dominant arms nonathletes is displayed in Figure 7. As can be seen, the non- of water polo players and the dominant arms of nonath- dominant arm of both water polo players and nonathletes letes had significantly better accuracy in comparison to showed more HPDL in comparison to the dominant arm the nondominant arms of nonathletes (p < 05). Post hoc for all three target directions. analysis for arm × target directions showed that the domi- The result of the three-way mixed model ANOVA nant arms performed significantly better accuracy in target displayed only a significant main effect for the arm directions of 60 and 90 degrees in comparison to the non- (F 1, 24 =31 59, p = 0001, η = 76) and target dominant arms (p < 05). The group main effect showed that water polo players overall had better accuracy in com- (F 1, 24 = 154 02, p = 0001, η = 82). The movements with parison to nonathletes (p < 05). The arm main effect also the dominant arm had significantly less curvature than those displayed that the dominant arms overall had significantly with the nondominant arm (p < 05). The main effect of the less FPE than the nondominant arms did (p < 05). The target revealed that the target located at 30 degrees was target main effect showed that reaches to the 30-degree reached with movements of less curvature than targets Movement velocity (sec) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 5 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 30 60 90 Figure 4: The average value of movement velocity among three targets. 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 5: The average magnitude of the final position error (FPE) for each target for the dominant and the nondominant arms for water polo players and nonathletes. located at 60 and 90 degrees. As the reaches to the target very similar RT for all targets for both groups. However, located at 30 degrees were mostly done with a single-joint RT for water polo players is faster than that of nonathletes movement, they could be done with movements of less curva- for all target directions. ture in comparison to the other targets. The result of the three-way mixed model ANOVA for the RT displayed only a significant main effect for the group (F 1, 24 =9 63, p = 004, η = 49) and target 3.4. Reaction Time. The average magnitude of the reaction times (RTs) for each target direction for water polo players (F 1, 24 =4 48, p = 04, η = 16). Water polo players and nonathletes between the dominant and nondominant (M =0 213; SD = 0 07 m/s) had significantly faster RT than arm is displayed in Figure 8. As can be seen, both arms had nonathletes (M =0 293; SD = 0 09 m/s) (Figure 9, p < 05). Final position error (cm) Movement velocity (sec) 6 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 7 Regarding the quality of movement of the nondominant arm of both groups, a larger hand path deviation from linear- ity (HPDL) was shown in relation to the dominant arm for all three directions of targets. Water polo is a sport where most of the manoeuvring with the ball is done with the dominant hand. The dominant hand is more burdened in the training process, so the result that the quality of the movement with the dominant hand is much greater than the nondominant one is somewhat expected. Reaction time (RT) for both arms of water polo players was significantly faster than that for both arms of nonath- letes, which is most likely the result of long-term training. Athletes have to simultaneously perform very intense short exercises and make decisions under strong time pressure [24]. Many researchers demonstrated that experienced players react more quickly than their less experienced counterparts and that there is significantly decreased RT Non-athletes Water polo players in athletes as compared to nonathletes [25]. This phenom- = Non-dominant arm enon is evident in several sports, for example, basketball = Dominant arm [26], table tennis [27], volleyball [28], badminton [29], and football [30]. Kramer et al. [31] found that participants Figure 6: The average magnitude of the final position error (FPE) who completed a six-month aerobic exercise program for the dominant and the nondominant arms for water polo showed improvements in RT. players and nonathletes. In the current study, we have also found faster RTs for water polo players for both their arms in comparison to non- athletes. In water polo, athletes must have quick arm reac- The main effect of the targets revealed that the target located at 90 degrees was reached with faster RT than those located at tions as they often block the opponent’s shots on goal with 30 degrees. both dominant and nondominant arms and those move- ments need to be explosive. Furthermore, reactions under water must be fast with both arms, which can explain the bet- 4. Discussion and Conclusions ter RT of both arms in comparison to that of nonathletes in Previous studies reported that not only unimanual practice this study. As soon as a player in an attack situation notices with the nondominant arm [8, 9] but also bimanual practice any free space in the opponent’s defence, he tries to shoot the ball to the goal; RT must be as fast as possible so that [10, 12, 14, 21] increased the performance of the dominant and nondominant arms for certain tasks. In a recent study, the action is efficient. Likewise, in that split second, the defence player attempts to raise his hand and blocks the shot; it was also stated that professional unimanual training dom- inantly with the right arm can improve the performance of therefore, RT is important here as well. Such situations are both the right and left arms [13]. constantly shifting with all players, which could explain their better RT than that of nonathletes. It has also been found that It has generally been accepted that athletes have better performance in some motor tasks, such as balance [22] and RT for the target located at 90 degrees is significantly faster in strength [23], than nonathletes do. Moreover, superior per- comparison to the targets located at 30 degrees. This is logical formance of athletes as a result of long-term practice has also because water polo players mainly shoot towards the goal been observed in some perceptual motor skills, such as reac- with an arm that is over the head and at approximately 90 degrees to the surface of the water. Such situations are more tion time [17]. In addition to scoring better in perceptual motor skills, athletes also displayed better motor perfor- common than other arm positions from which shots are mance in comparison to nonathletes [13, 14]. made. The same situation is observed during defence Similar to the findings reported in previous studies [6, 7], attempts and during blocking attempts, provided that in such the nonathlete group in this study showed significant inter- situations dominant and nondominant hands have been used alternately, depending on which side the opponent player limb asymmetries in movement accuracy (FPE) and in move- ment quality (HPDL) such that right arm reaches were with the ball is located. However, it is important for the straighter and more accurate to targets across the workspace. trainers to train the players to block the shoots in different The scores of the nonathletes were, generally, very similar to angles like 30 and 60 degrees. Therefore, this will provide those in recent studies [6, 7, 13, 14]. However, the water polo the possibility of a more effective defence against some shots from the sides. player group in this study demonstrated more symmetric patterns of arm performance that were associated with sub- In water polo, the optimal technique is essential for stantially better accuracy. This may be an expected result, improving performance. Akpinar [14] found that asymme- since the trainings with water polo players over the years try of hand performance with rowers is reduced because required daily work on improving precision, related to the both arms should coordinately work together to perform the technique efficiently. Thus, performing skillful strokes way of passing, shooting, and precise swimming. Final position error (cm) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 7 0.07 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 7: The average magnitude of the hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL) for each target direction for water polo players and nonathletes. 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 60 90 30 60 90 Non-athletes Water polo players = Non-dominant arm = Dominant arm Figure 8: The average magnitude of the reaction time (RT) for each target direction for water polo players and nonathletes between the dominant and nondominant arms. consistently requires expertise and is a precondition for the with the dominant and nondominant arms. Symmetrical effective bimanual control of the arms. In this respect, the performance of both body sides has also been found in decreased interlimb difference found in the current study taekwondo [32]. Taekwondo athletes displayed similar per- in water polo players may be a requirement for skillful per- formance of the left and the right sides of their body in formance for swimming, manoeuvring under water, and some tests of motor abilities (flexibility, strength, and maintaining balance in the water as well as blocking kicks explosive leg strength) and performance quality tests of Hand path deviation from linearity Reaction time (sec) 8 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics participation can improve both arms’ performance in the 0.3 case of reaching movements. In general, superior motor per- formance during simple motor tasks for athletes and musi- cians over nonelite performers has previously been reported 0.25 [24, 25, 40]. In water polo, arms are used for different pur- poses: i.e., the left arm is used to help in swimming and main- taining balance and in defence, and the right arm is practiced 0.2 extensively to wield the ball. This can thus explain the better perceptual and motor performance of water polo players with both their arms in comparison to the performance of 0.15 nonathletes. It can also give guidance to their trainers what they have done well and also what they need to improve in the player’s training process. Regarding the talent identifica- 0.1 tion for water polo, trainers should consider these motor and perceptual parameters to select the beginners for this sport. This study showed the very intriguing result that elite water 0.05 polo players had significantly better accuracy with signifi- cantly shorter RTs than nonathletes. It could be expected that a shorter RT of a reaching movement will likely make the Non-athletes Water polo players movement less accurate; however, this was not the case in this study with the elite water polo players. Over the Figure 9: The average magnitude of the reaction time (RT) for water polo players and nonathletes. long-term training, players might improve the ability to per- form fast reacted and accurate movements. Whether water polo players are less asymmetric because of practice in water two basic taekwondo techniques. This may imply that ath- letes need to improve both body sides to acquire profi- polo or whether symmetry in performance is associated with ciency in their sports. an implicit advantage that might influence competitive selec- Neurophysiological characteristics can define a superior tion for water polo cannot be conclusively addressed with the performance of any athlete. When performing skilled move- current study design. The current study has a limitation for the selection of a ments under different conditions and in changing environ- ments, the athlete’s brain needs to adapt to various types of control group; thus, future studies should focus on compar- behaviour [33]. This can include perception, decision-mak- ing perceptual and motor performance asymmetries in ing, motor preparation, and execution of movements. For different types of sports to be able to understand the funda- instance, in order to perform a skilled movement, the ner- mental characteristics of sports. Longitudinal studies should also be conducted to investigate whether the decreased vous system needs to activate required motor unit(s) in a proper manner at the right time and in the correct sequence interlimb difference in water polo is a result of a long- [34]. This statement suggests that neural activities in the ath- term practice or whether it had existed before starting the letes’ brains are modified with the participation of long-term sport. Moreover, in addition to the perceptual and motor per- training activities [35]. Confirmation has been obtained from formances, investigating athletes’ neurophysiological back- ground would be sufficient to make a connection between some studies showing changes and shifts in brain activation among both musicians [36] and athletes [37] due to long- motor and neural mechanisms. term practice. Specifically, motor-related cortical potentials, reflecting the movement preparation process, were found to Data Availability be shorter and smaller in athletes compared to nonathletes [38]. Thus, the brain can easily be shaped by long-term skill The data used to support the findings of this study are avail- acquisition, which also can improve performance when able from the corresponding author upon request. carrying out another skill or movement, such as the one observed in the current study. The water polo players with Additional Points improved neural activations can have a better perception, decision-making, motor preparation, and execution of move- Consent for Publication. The authors gave their consent for ments for both arms in comparison to nonathletes. In the publication. future, it will be interesting to study similar characteristics with athletes of a similar skill level across sports that do not require unimanual activity. Ethical Approval Motor performance symmetries found in this study with water polo players were similar to those of the previous stud- All participants signed the consent form approved by the ies by Akpinar et al. [13] and Akpinar [14]. Even though it Institutional Review Board of the University of Montenegro, has been previously stated in some studies that the effect of which was in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki as a short-term unimanual practice on motor performance of amended by the World Medical Association Declaration of both arms can be different [39], it seems that long-term sport Helsinki [20]. Reaction time (sec) Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 9 [15] S. Akpinar, “Decreased interlimb differences in female basket- Conflicts of Interest ball players,” The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fit- The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. ness, vol. 56, no. 12, pp. 1448–1454, 2016. [16] L. Youngen, “A comparison of reaction and movement times of women athletes and nonathletes,” Research Quarterly for Acknowledgments Exercise and Sport, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 349–355, 2013. [17] J. S. Y. Chan, A. C. N. Wong, Y. Liu, J. Yu, and J. H. Yan, The authors wish to thank the members of the Water Polo “Fencing expertise and physical fitness enhance action inhibi- Association of Montenegro for their cooperation and the stu- tion,” Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 509– dents at the Marine Faculty of the University of Montenegro. 514, 2011. [18] World Medical Association, “World Medical Association Dec- laration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research References involving human subjects,” The Journal of the American Med- ical Association, vol. 310, no. 20, pp. 2191–2194, 2013. [1] E. Caliskan and S. Dane, “Left-handedness in blind and sighted [19] C. J. Hull, “A study of laterality test items,” Journal of Experi- children,” Laterality, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 205–213, 2009. mental Education, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 287–290, 2015. [2] E. Vuoksimaa, M. Koskenvuo, R. J. Rose, and J. Kaprio, “Ori- [20] R. C. Oldfield, “The assessment and analysis of handedness: gins of handedness: a nationwide study of 30, 161 adults,” Neu- the Edinburgh inventory,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 9, no. 1, ropsychologia, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 1294–1301, 2009. pp. 97–113, 1971. [3] R. G. Carson, R. Chua, D. Elliott, and D. Goodman, “The con- [21] T. Stockel and M. Weigelt, “Plasticity of human handedness: tribution of vision to asymmetries in manual aiming,” Neurop- decreased one-hand bias and inter-manual performance sychologia, vol. 28, no. 11, pp. 1215–1220, 1990. asymmetry in expert basketball players,” Journal of Sports Sci- [4] A. Lenhard and J. Hoffmann, “Constant error in aiming move- ences, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 1037–1045, 2012. ments without visual feedback is higher in the preferred hand,” [22] C. D. Davlin, “Dynamic balance in high level athletes,” Percep- Laterality, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 227–238, 2007. tual and Motor Skills, vol. 98, Supplement 3, pp. 1171–1176, [5] R. Sainburg, “Evidence for a dynamic-dominance hypothesis of handedness,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 142, no. 2, [23] G. Sleivert, R. Backus, and H. Wenger, “Neuromuscular differ- pp. 241–258, 2002. ences between volleyball players, middle distance runners and [6] A. Przybyla, C. J. Coelho, S. Akpinar, S. Kirazci, and R. L. Sain- untrained controls,” International Journal of Sports Medicine, burg, “Sensorimotor performance asymmetries predict hand vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 390–398, 1995. selection,” Neuroscience, vol. 228, pp. 349–360, 2013. [24] D. Delignières, J. Brisswalter, and P. Legros, “Influence of [7] C. J. Coelho, A. Przybyla, V. Yadav, and R. L. Sainburg, “Hemi- physical exercise on choice reaction time in sport experts: the spheric differences in the control of limb dynamics: a link mediating role of resource allocation,” Journal of Human between arm performance asymmetries and arm selection pat- Movement Studies, vol. 27, pp. 173–188, 1994. terns,” Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 109, no. 3, pp. 825–838, [25] V. Nougier, H. Ripoll, and J. F. Stein, “Orienting of attention with highly skilled athletes,” International Journal of Sport Psy- [8] L. A. Teixeira and V. H. A. Okazaki, “Shift of manual prefer- chology, vol. 20, pp. 205–223, 1989. ence by lateralized practice generalizes to related motor tasks,” [26] T. Ghuntla, H. B. Mehta, P. A. Gokhale, and C. J. Shah, “A Experimental Brain Research, vol. 183, no. 3, pp. 417–423, comparative study of visual reaction time in basketball players and healthy controls,” NJIRM, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 49–51, 2012. [9] L. A. Teixeira and M. C. T. Teixeira, “Shift of manual prefer- [27] M. K. Bhabhor, K. Vidja, P. Bhanderi, S. Dodhia, R. Kathrotia, ence in right-handers following unimanual practice,” Brain and V. Joshi, “A comparative study of visual reaction time in and Cognition, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 238–243, 2007. table tennis players and healthy controls,” Indian Journal of [10] M. Mikheev, C. Mohr, S. Afanasiev, T. Landis, and G. Thut, Physiology and Pharmacology, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 439–442, “Motor control and cerebral hemispheric specialization in highly qualified judo wrestlers,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 40, [28] Z. Hascelik, O. Basgöze, K. Türker, S. Narman, and R. Ozker, no. 8, pp. 1209–1219, 2002. “The effects of physical training on physical fitness tests and [11] T. Elbert, C. Pantev, C. Wienbruch, B. Rockstroh, and E. Taub, auditory and visual reaction times of volleyball players,” The “Increased cortical representation of the fingers of the left Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol. 29, no. 3, hand in string players,” Science, vol. 270, no. 5234, pp. 305– pp. 234–239, 1989. 307, 1995. [29] S. Dube, S. Mungal, and M. Kulkarni, “Simple visual reaction [12] R. S. Maeda, R. M. Souza, and L.-A. Teixeira, “From specific time in badminton players: a comparative study,” National training to global shift of manual preference in kung Fu Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 5, experts,” Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 73– no. 1, pp. 18–20, 2015. 85, 2014. [30] R. Dokuyucu, T. Demir, M. Bilgic et al., “Comparison of reac- [13] S. Akpinar, R. L. Sainburg, S. Kirazci, and A. Przybyla, “Motor tion time and body mass index in football training children asymmetry in elite fencers,” Journal of Motor Behavior, vol. 47, and sedentary children,” Medicina dello Sport, vol. 68, no. 1, no. 4, pp. 302–311, 2014. pp. 43–48, 2015. [14] S. Akpinar, “The effect of long-term bimanual training on arm [31] A. F. Kramer, S. Hahn, and E. McAuley, “Influence of aerobic selection during reaching tasks,” Kinesiology, vol. 47, no. 2, fitness on the neurocognitive function of older adults,” Journal pp. 226–235, 2015. of Aging and Physical Activity, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 379–385, 2000. 10 Applied Bionics and Biomechanics [32] D. Čular, D. Miletić, and A. Miletić, “Influence of dominant and non-dominant body side on specific performance in taek- wondo,” Kinesiology, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 184–193, 2000. [33] H. Nakata, M. Yoshie, A. Miura, and K. Kudo, “Characteristics of the athletes’ brain: evidence from neurophysiology and neuroimaging,” Brain Research Reviews, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 197–211, 2010. [34] J. B. Nielsen and L. G. Cohen, “The Olympic brain. Does cor- ticospinal plasticity play a role in acquisition of skills required for high-performance sports,” Journal of Physiology, vol. 586, no. 1, pp. 65–70, 2008. [35] K. A. Ericsson and A. C. Lehmann, “Expert and exceptional performance: evidence of maximal adaptation to task con- straints,” Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 273–305, 1999. [36] M. C. Ridding, B. Brouwer, and M. A. Nordstrom, “Reduced interhemispheric inhibition in musicians,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 133, no. 2, pp. 249–253, 2000. [37] A. J. Pearce, G. W. Thickbroom, M. L. Byrnes, and F. L. Mas- taglia, “Functional reorganisation of the corticomotor projec- tion to the hand in skilled racquet players,” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 130, no. 2, pp. 238–243, 2000. [38] Y. Kita, A. Mori, and M. Nara, “Two types of movement- related cortical potentials preceding wrist extension in humans,” Neuroreport, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 2221–2225, 2001. [39] P. K. Mutha and R. L. Sainburg, “Shared bimanual tasks elicit bimanual reflexes during movement,” Journal of Neurophysiol- ogy, vol. 102, no. 6, pp. 3142–3155, 2009. [40] A. C. Rodrigues, M. A. Loureiro, and P. Caramelli, “Long-term musical training may improve different forms of visual attention ability,” Brain and Cognition, vol. 82, no. 3, pp. 229–235, 2013. International Journal of Advances in Rotating Machinery Multimedia Journal of The Scientific Journal of Engineering World Journal Sensors Hindawi Hindawi Publishing Corporation Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 http://www www.hindawi.com .hindawi.com V Volume 2018 olume 2013 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 Journal of Control Science and Engineering Advances in Civil Engineering Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 Submit your manuscripts at www.hindawi.com Journal of Journal of Electrical and Computer Robotics Engineering Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 VLSI Design Advances in OptoElectronics International Journal of Modelling & Aerospace International Journal of Simulation Navigation and in Engineering Engineering Observation Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Volume 2018 Volume 2018 Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com www.hindawi.com www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 International Journal of Active and Passive International Journal of Antennas and Advances in Chemical Engineering Propagation Electronic Components Shock and Vibration Acoustics and Vibration Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi Hindawi www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018 www.hindawi.com Volume 2018

Journal

Applied Bionics and BiomechanicsHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Feb 5, 2019

References