An electrocortical comparison of executed and rejected shots in skilled marksmen

Charles H. Hillman, Ross J. Apparies, Christopher M. Janelle, Bradley D. Hatfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during the preshot period was investigated in seven skilled marksmen. Specifically, alpha and beta spectral power were obtained for the 4-s period prior to the execution or rejection of shots. Rejected shots were defined as those that resulted in the marksman's self-initiated decision to withdraw their rifle from the target rather than execute the shot. EEG activity during the preparatory period was contrasted between the executed and rejected shots to better understand the involved attentional processes associated with the preshot state. Results for rejected compared with executed shots revealed a progressive increase in alpha and beta power for rejected compared with executed shots, which increased across the preparatory period. Furthermore, increased spectral power was found in the left compared with the right hemisphere for both executed and rejected shots, and in the different regions of the scalp. Therefore, the decision to reject a shot seems to be characterized by inappropriate allocation of the neural resources associated with task execution. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha power
  • Beta power
  • Electroencephalography
  • Marksmen
  • Preparatory period
  • Shooting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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