Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository

Task difficulty tools to analyze cognitive performance and neural efficiency for cyclist in virtual reality

Zainuddin, Nurul Farha (2020) Task difficulty tools to analyze cognitive performance and neural efficiency for cyclist in virtual reality. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Engineering - School of Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences.


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Task difficulty modulates neural activity as individuals with high neural efficiency are associated with high cognitive performance in demanding tasks. In road cycling, this event inherently deals with uncertain environments as cyclists need to respond with competitors’ action, varied terrains, and environments. However, assessing the interaction between cognitive performance, task difficulty and neural efficiency require the development of sport-specific tasks in road cycling. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the association between cognitive performance, task difficulty, neural efficiency, and physiological functions of road cycling. Prior to that, the experimental procedure development of task difficulty in the virtual reality was modified according to the content by experts and feedback from healthy subjects. The actual experiment was conducted on twelve trained development cyclists from the National Sports School. Parameters of brain activity were set with frequencies of 8–12Hz for a waves and 15–28Hz for ß waves and were measured using electroencephalography (EEG) bioamplifiers. Physiological parameters of power output, heart rate and cadence were measured using Garmin’s pedal force sensor, heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. The independent sample t-test was employed to compare between High-IQ and Low-IQ groups across all parameters. The one-way repeated measure ANOVA was used to further analysed the physiological functions of High-IQ and Low-IQ groups during different task difficulties. The results of the independent sample t-test showed that the High-IQ group is significantly higher in neural efficiency than the Low-IQ group during medium difficulty tasks (level 3), t(7.23)=3.33, p<0.01. Furthermore, results from the one-way repeated measure ANOVA revealed interactions between task difficulty and cognitive performance were significant as the main effects on neural efficiency F(4,40)=4.728, p=0.009. The main contribution of this study is the exhibition of the High-IQ group performed high neural efficiency compared to Low-IQ groups during a medium level of task difficulty (level 3). The significance between 1 to 2km showed the changes in cortical activation and sensorimotor processing. It suggests the sensorimotor condition for High-IQ group modulation occur during the last 1km. In Task 3, this study added competitors as there is a possibility that the subjects respond to the environments, including the presence of competitors. In conclusion, cognitive performance is associated with a/ß ratios that describe neural efficiency during the different levels of task difficulties in road cycling among trained development cyclists. Future research may consider increasing the level of competitors or increasing the number of competitors as a potential element of difficulty.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:cognitive performance, neural efficiency, task difficulty
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions:Biosciences and Medical Engineering
ID Code:97938
Deposited By: Yanti Mohd Shah
Deposited On:07 Nov 2022 18:56
Last Modified:07 Nov 2022 18:56

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