Presentation Title

Examining Processing Speed and Reaction Time Differences Among College Athletes

Format

Event

Start Date

10-2-2012 12:00 AM

Abstract

Processing Speed (PS) and Reaction Time (RT) are two important cognitive processes that directly influence an athlete’s performance. Processing speed refers to a person’s ability to complete cognitive tasks within a given amount of time. In contrast, reaction time refers to the mechanical ability to respond to a stimulus. Jenson (1993) states that a person’s processing speed is dependent on a person’s neuroanatomical mechanisms. Mental practice and physical practice play a role in improving an athlete’s reaction time indicating that someone should experience improvement after repeatedly practicing the same task. Given the research that states that a person’s processing speed is a stable cognitive trait unaffected by training (Montgomery et al., 2008; Fabre-Thorpe et al., 2001; Thorpe et al., 1989), we anticipated no significant differences between athletes on the processing speed index. However, given the research that states that a person’s reaction time is improved with experience or practice (Grouios 1988 & 1992), we anticipated a significant difference between athletes on the reaction time index. Participants for the study were 679 student athletes (293 men, 383 women, 3 missing) within a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-II athletic program located in the Southeastern United States who participated in one of seven different sports who completed the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing instrument. Multiple ANOVAs will be implemented to determine if there is a difference in PS or RT between members of the different sports. Regression analyses will be conducted to determine how age and the number of years playing a sport may predict reaction time or processing speed.

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Feb 10th, 12:00 AM

Examining Processing Speed and Reaction Time Differences Among College Athletes

Processing Speed (PS) and Reaction Time (RT) are two important cognitive processes that directly influence an athlete’s performance. Processing speed refers to a person’s ability to complete cognitive tasks within a given amount of time. In contrast, reaction time refers to the mechanical ability to respond to a stimulus. Jenson (1993) states that a person’s processing speed is dependent on a person’s neuroanatomical mechanisms. Mental practice and physical practice play a role in improving an athlete’s reaction time indicating that someone should experience improvement after repeatedly practicing the same task. Given the research that states that a person’s processing speed is a stable cognitive trait unaffected by training (Montgomery et al., 2008; Fabre-Thorpe et al., 2001; Thorpe et al., 1989), we anticipated no significant differences between athletes on the processing speed index. However, given the research that states that a person’s reaction time is improved with experience or practice (Grouios 1988 & 1992), we anticipated a significant difference between athletes on the reaction time index. Participants for the study were 679 student athletes (293 men, 383 women, 3 missing) within a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-II athletic program located in the Southeastern United States who participated in one of seven different sports who completed the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing instrument. Multiple ANOVAs will be implemented to determine if there is a difference in PS or RT between members of the different sports. Regression analyses will be conducted to determine how age and the number of years playing a sport may predict reaction time or processing speed.