Dynamics of the Prefrontal Cortex during Problem-Solving

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Dynamics of the Prefrontal Cortex during Chess-Based Problem-Solving Tasks in Competition-Experienced Chess Players: An fNIR Study.

Abstract
This study aimed to compare the dynamics of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), between adult and adolescent chess players, during chess-based problem-solving tasks of increasing level of difficulty, relying on the identification of changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) and hemoglobin (HHb) through the functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) method. Thirty male federated chess players (mean age: 24.15 ± 12.84 years), divided into adults and adolescents, participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants were asked to solve three chess problems with different difficulties (low, medium, and high) while changes in HbO2 and HHb were measured over the PFC in real-time with an fNIRS system. Results indicated that the left prefrontal cortex (L-PFC) increased its activation with the difficulty of the task in both adolescents and adults. Interestingly, differences in the PFC dynamics but not in the overall performance were found between adults and adolescents. Our findings contributed to a better understanding of the PFC resources mobilized during complex tasks in both adults and adolescents.

PMID: 32674476 [PubMed – in process]

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Jul 14;20(14):

Authors: Pereira T, Castro MA, Villafaina S, Carvalho Santos A, Fuentes-García JP

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