Lower Left Temporal-Frontal Connectivity Characterizes Expert and Accurate Performance: High-Alpha T7-Fz Connectivity as a Marker of Conscious Processing During Movement

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The theory of reinvestment argues that conscious processing can impair motor performance. The present study tested the utility of left temporal-frontal cortical connectivity as a neurophysiological marker of movement specific conscious processing. Expert and novice golfers completed putts while temporal-frontal connectivity was computed using high-alpha intersite phase clustering (ISPC) and then analyzed as a function of experience (experts vs. novices), performance (holed vs. missed putts), and pressure (low vs. high). Existing evidence shows that left temporal to frontal connectivity is related to dispositional conscious processing and is sensitive to the amount of declarative knowledge acquired during learning. We found that T7-Fz ISPC, but not T8-Fz ISPC, was lower in experts than in novices and lower when putts were holed than missed. Accordingly, our findings provide additional evidence that communication between verbal/language and motor areas of the brain during preparation for action and its execution is associated with poor motor performance. Our findings validate high-alpha left temporal-frontal connectivity as a neurophysiological correlate of movement specific conscious processing.

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