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The Effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Improving Cognitive Abilities in Martial Athletes
Ali Rezaei sharif1 , Sara Taghizadeh hir * 2, Ghasem Fattahzadeh Ardalani3
1- Department of Counseling, Faculty of Educational Sciences & Psychology, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran
2- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences & Psychology, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran , sara.taghizadeh1370@gmail.com
3- Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Science, Ardabil, Iran
English Extended Abstract:   (721 Views)
 Aims: Improving cognitive abilities in athletes may increase their performance and predict success in competition. Therefore, investigating methods such as Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation that targets brain structures can be important. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in improving cognitive abilities in Martial Athletes.
Materials and Methods: The research method was semi-experimental with a pretest-posttest design and control group, conducted on all martial athletes of Ardabil in Iran in 2022. Thirty people were selected from the martial athletes of Ardabil city and members of the Shahid Abbasi sports club using the available sampling methods and randomly assigned to the experimental and control group (15 people in each group). Transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS) was implemented in 10 sessions, each lasting 20 minutes, but the control group received no training. Nejati Cognitive Abilities Questionnaire (2013) was used in two stages, pre-test and post-test, to collect data. Data analysis was done using multivariate covariance analysis in SPSS 23 software.
Findings: Thirty people participated in this research, and all participants were male. The average age of the participants in the experimental group was 25.33±4.53 years and in the control group was 24.26±4.97 years. Also, in the experimental group, two people (13.30%) had a diploma, nine people (60.00%) had a bachelor's degree, and four people (26.70%) had a master's degree. In the control group, three people (20.00 percent) had a diploma, seven people (46.70 percent) had a bachelor's degree, and five people (33.30 percent) had a master's degree. Descriptive statistics of the research variables in the pre-test stage showed that the average scores of cognitive abilities in the experimental and control groups were almost equal and did not differ much in the experimental and control groups. However, the post-test results showed that the experimental group's average scores of cognitive abilities improved compared to the control group (Table 1).
The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to check the normality of the distribution of variable scores. Considering that the significance level in the research variables was more than 0.05, the data distribution was normal, and normality tests were used. Also, according to the Box's M test, the equality of the covariance matrix of the dependent variables between the experimental and control groups was not significant (p>0.05). The results of Levene's test to check the homogeneity of error variances of the variables in the research groups were not significant for cognitive ability variables (p>0.05). In other words, the error variances of these variables were homogeneous in the groups. The results of multivariate covariance analysis showed that based on the figures obtained after adjusting the pre-test scores, there was a significant effect in the factor between the subjects of the group in working memory (F=8.23; p=0.01), selective attention (F=45.73; p=0.00), making a decision (F=25.60; p=0.03), planning (F=38.08; p=0.00), sustained attention (F=24.27; p=0.00) p), social cognition (F=54.76; p=0.01) and cognitive flexibility (F=11.07; p=60.00) and the average scores of the experimental group improved significantly (Table 2 ).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation is an effective method for improving the cognitive abilities of martial artists. Therefore, specialists and psychologists can use this non-invasive method as a less invasive and accessible method to improve the cognitive abilities of these people along with other interventions.
CLINICAL & PRACTICAL TIPS in POLICE MEDICINE: According to the current research on the effectiveness of electrical stimulation of the brain in improving the cognitive abilities of martial athletes, such interventions can be used in military forces, especially martial arts workers.
Acknowledgments: The authors appreciate the subjects who participated in this research and the efforts that helped us achieve the research results.
CONFLICT of INTEREST: The authors of the article state that there is no conflict of interest in this study.
AUTHORS CONTRIBUTION: First author, presentation of the idea and study design, data collection and interpretation; Second and third authors, data collection and interpretation. All the authors participated in the initial writing of the article, and all accept the responsibility for the accuracy and correctness of the contents of the present article with the final approval of the present article.
FUNDING SOURCES: The present research had no financial support.

Table 1) Average of subscales of cognitive abilities in
pre-test and post-test of experimental and control groups
Subscales Experimental groups
control groups
pre-test (M±SD) post-test (M±SD) pre-test
post-test (M±SD)
Memory 10.66±1.23 7.66±1.63 10.13±1.40 10.13±1.45
selective attention 21.00±0.84 17.80±1.01 21.13±01.24 20.66±1.29
Decision making 15.00±0.84 12.06±1.27 14.46±1.12 14.20±1.01
planning 9.06±0.88 6.93±0.88 9.00±1.00 8.73±0.88
Sustained attention 11.73±1.03 8.73±1.22 11.20±0.86 10.93±0.70
Social cognition 9.53±1.83 12.66±1.29 9.20±0.86 9.40±1.22
flexibility 8.53±0.91 6.66±1.29 8.53±1.12 8.53±1.44

Table 2) The results of covariance analysis related to
 the scores of the two groups in cognitive abilities
Variable Source of changes Total of squares Degrees of freedom Mean square F p Eta
Working memory pre-exam 2.13 1 2.13 1.21 0.27 0.04
group 45.63 1 45.63 19.05 0.01 0.40
error 49.06 28 1.75 - - -
Selective attention pre-exam 0.13 1 0.13 0.11 0.73 0.004
group 61.63 1 61.63 45.73 0.001 0.62
error 31.73 28 1.13 - - -
Decision making pre-exam 2.13 1 2.13 2.15 0.15 0.07
group 34.13 1 34.13 25.60 0.03 0.47
error 27.73 28 0.99 - - -
Planning pre-exam 0.03 1 0.03 0.37 0.84 0.00
group 24.30 1 24.30 38.08 0.001 0.57
error 24.93 28 0.89 - - -
Sustained attention pre-exam 2.13 1 2.13 2.35 0.13 0.07
group 36.30 1 36.30 24.27 0.001 0.46
error 25.33 28 0.90 - - -
Social cognition pre-exam 0.83 1 0.83 1.15 0.29 0.04
group 80.03 1 80.03 54.76 0.01 0.66
error 20.13 28 0.71 - - -
Cognitive flexibility pre-exam 0.13 1 0.13 0.12 0.72 0.00
group 20.83 1 20.83 11.07 0.001 0.28
error 29.06 28 1.03 - - -

Article number: 3
Keywords: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation [MeSH], Cognitive Aspects [MeSH], Athletes [MeSH]
Full-Text [PDF 648 kb]   (496 Downloads)    
Article Type: Original Research | Subject: Police Related Psychology
Received: 2022/10/18 | Accepted: 2022/12/31 | Published: 2023/02/13
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Rezaei sharif A, Taghizadeh hir S, Fattahzadeh Ardalani G. The Effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Improving Cognitive Abilities in Martial Athletes. JPMed 2023; 12 (1)
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نشریه علمی پژوهشی طب انتظامی Journal of Police Medicine
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