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EP-01 Fitness Assessment, Exercise Training, and Performance of Athletes and Healthy People

Impact Of Tdcs On Esports Performance

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Valladao, Silvio Costa Polly da C.1; Nelson, Hannah1; Hill, Chris2; Andre, Thomas1

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: August 2021 - Volume 53 - Issue 8S - p 54
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000759724.83830.e2
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on esport performance. A secondary aim was to determine the physiological responses to chronic tDCS before esport training sessions. The authors hypothesized that the esports group would show greater improvements in performance during the 10 esports training sessions when compared to the sham group.

METHODS: A total of 23 male college students (22 ± 2.4 years; 26.8 ± 4.5 kg/m2; 5.6 ± 3.8 hours of exercise per week; 10.8 ± 5.9 hours of esports per week) were recruited to participate in this double-blind randomized-controlled trial. Eligibility was limited to healthy individuals between the ages of 18 to 35 who currently play at least 6 hours of esports per week. Recently a commercially available tDCS headset (Halo Sport; Halo Neuroscience, San Francisco, CA) has been developed to apply tDCS in a practical setting. In a double-blind fashion, participants were placed into the experimental (HALO) and control (SHAM) groups for 10 visits. On the HALO group (n = 12), a 20-minute tDCS was performed prior to the esports training on trials 2-9. No stimulation was performed on the first and last esports training sessions on both groups. The same Halo Sport tDCS devices were utilized with the SHAM group (n = 11), however, with the absence of electrical stimulation. Regardless of group placement, every participant engaged in the same 30-minute esports session utilizing Aim Hero during the 10 visits. Two-Way Repeated Measures ANOVA were utilized to examine whether there were differences between and within groups across all 10 visits. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (v.27) and alpha was set at 0.05.

RESULTS: When considering the accuracy of the players during the esports session, there were no statistically significantly differences for the main effect of group (p = 0.69). The main effect of time was statistically significant (p < 0.01), suggesting an increase in esports performance during the 10 visits.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants utilizing Halo Sport’s tDCS did not improve esports performance following eight stimulation training sessions when compared to SHAM group. Further research is warranted to examine if tDCS can aid gamers to avoid fatigue during long esports sessions.

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