Golf putt outcomes are predicted by sensorimotor cerebral EEG rhythms

Claudio Babiloni, Claudio Del Percio, Marco Iacoboni, Francesco Infarinato, Roberta Lizio, Nicola Marzano, Gianluca Crespi, Federica Dassù, Mirella Pirritano, Michele Gallamini, Fabrizio Eusebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is not known whether frontal cerebral rhythms of the two hemispheres are implicated in fine motor control and balance. To address this issue, electroencephalographic (EEG) and stabilometric recordings were simultaneously performed in 12 right-handed expert golfers. The subjects were asked to stand upright on a stabilometric force platform placed at a golf green simulator while playing about 100 golf putts. Balance during the putts was indexed by body sway area. Cortical activity was indexed by the power reduction in spatially enhanced alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) rhythms during movement, referred to as the pre-movement period. It was found that the body sway area displayed similar values in the successful and unsuccessful putts. In contrast, the high-frequency alpha power (about 10-12 Hz) was smaller in amplitude in the successful than in the unsuccessful putts over the frontal midline and the arm and hand region of the right primary sensorimotor area; the stronger the reduction of the alpha power, the smaller the error of the unsuccessful putts (i.e. distance from the hole). These results indicate that high-frequency alpha rhythms over associative, premotor and non-dominant primary sensorimotor areas subserve motor control and are predictive of the golfer's performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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