The influence of a competitive field hockey match on cognitive function

Malcolm, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-3494-3835, Cooper, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, Folland, J.P., Tyler, C.J. and Sunderland, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7484-1345, 2022. The influence of a competitive field hockey match on cognitive function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 16: 829924. ISSN 1662-5161

1523180_Sunderland.pdf - Published version

Download (647kB) | Preview


Despite the known positive effects of acute exercise on cognition, the effects of a competitive team sport match are unknown. In a randomized crossover design, 20 female and 17 male field hockey players (19.7 ± 1.2 years) completed a battery of cognitive tests (Visual Search, Stroop, Corsi Blocks, and Rapid Visual Information Processing) prior to, at half-time, and immediately following a competitive match (or control trial of seated rest); with effect sizes (ES) presented as raw ES from mixed effect models. Blood samples were collected prior to and following the match and control trial, and analyzed for adrenaline, noradrenaline, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cathepsin B, and cortisol. The match improved response times for a simple perception task at full-time (ES = –14 ms; P < 0.01) and response times on the complex executive function task improved at half-time (ES = –44 ms; P < 0.01). Working memory declined at full-time on the match (ES = –0.6 blocks; P < 0.01). The change in working memory was negatively correlated with increases in cortisol (r = –0.314, P = 0.01; medium), as was the change in simple perception response time and the change in noradrenaline concentration (r = –0.284, P = 0.01; small to medium). This study is the first to highlight the effects a competitive hockey match can have on cognition. These findings have implications for performance optimization, as understanding the influence on specific cognitive domains across a match allows for the investigation into strategies to improve these aspects.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Creators: Malcolm, R., Cooper, S., Folland, J.P., Tyler, C.J. and Sunderland, C.
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Date: 4 March 2022
Volume: 16
ISSN: 1662-5161
Rights: Copyright © 2022 Malcolm, Cooper, Folland, Tyler and Sunderland. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 04 Mar 2022 10:29
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 10:29

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year