Undergraduate Honours Theses
There is limited research examining the processes by which open and closed motor skill sports optimize Executive Functions (EFs). The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of motor sequencing and repetitive movement in individual and team sports and their influence on EFs. The study also investigated gender differences in EF abilities within a sporting context. We tested 40 University students (17 = Male, 23 = Female) aged 17-29 (M = 20.47, SD = 2.75) who were randomly assigned to a team and individual sports-oriented intervention focused on either repetitive or variable motor sequential movement. We predicted that individuals in the variable motor sequencing and team condition would yield the best EF performance. Our results suggested a significant interaction effect of Gender x “Team/Individual” on EF measures, as females and males performed significantly different on a team compared to those in the individual conditions. For performance of intervention, we found an overall main effect of Team/Individual, such that participants in the Team conditions finished faster on the sports task than those in the Individual conditions. A significant main effect of Gender was also found, as males generally outperformed female participants. These findings have implications for optimizing sport and EF performance between genders.
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Christine Tsang