Award Date

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences

First Committee Member

Brach Poston

Second Committee Member

Mark Guadagnoli

Third Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Fourth Committee Member

Genki Muthukumar

Number of Pages



Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) that has been shown to increase motor performance in simple motor tasks. The purpose of the present study was to determine the influence of tRNS on motor skill acquisition and learning in a complex, modified golf putting task in young adults. Twenty-four (n = 12 per group) healthy young adult males were allocated to either a tRNS group or a SHAM stimulation group. Both groups performed 6 trials of the golf putting task in a baseline testing block, followed by 4 practice blocks of 15 trials. The practice blocks were followed by a post-testing block (6 trials) that was performed five minutes after the last practice block, and a retention testing block (6 trials) that was performed 24 hours later. For the practice blocks, subjects performed the golf putting task for 20 minutes in combination with either tRNS or SHAM stimulation. tRNS or SHAM stimulation was applied to the motor cortex with the stimulating electrode centered over the motor hotspot of the first dorsal interosseous muscle. The primary dependent variables were endpoint error and endpoint variance, whereas the putter face angle relative to ball path at impact and forward swing time were selected as secondary dependent variables. For the practice blocks, the dependent variables were analyzed by two-factor repeated measures ANOVAs: 2 group (real tRNS, SHAM) x 4 Block. For the testing blocks, the dependent variables were analyzed by two-factor repeated measures ANOVAs: 2 group (real tRNS, SHAM) x 3 Test (BASELINE, POST and RETENTION). The results indicted that there were no significant differences in endpoint error or endpoint variance between the tRNS and SHAM groups for the practice blocks. However, there was a significant reduction in endpoint error between blocks 1 and 3 (P = 0.20), and a significant reduction in endpoint variance between blocks 1 and 3, and 1 and 4 (P = 0.011 and 0.039, respectively). For face angle relative to path, there was a


significant group x block interaction, but the post-hoc tests failed statistical significance. Forward swing time remained invariant across all of the practice blocks. For the testing blocks, endpoint error was significantly reduced in both groups between the baseline block and the post-test block (P = 0.000), but there was no difference between groups. Similarly, endpoint variance was not different between groups, but decreased significantly for both groups between the baseline block and the post-test block, and between the baseline block and retention block (P = 0.000 and 0.018, respectively). Face angle relative to path was significantly more closed for both groups in the post-test block comparison to the baseline block (P = 0.012) and more opened in the retention block when compared to post-test block (P = 0.028). Forward swing time was not different between groups or between any of the testing blocks. These findings suggest that tRNS influenced the execution of this motor task, but this influence did not occur in a manner that lead to an improvement in motor skill acquisition or motor learning in the current task conditions.


Brain Stimulation; Golf; Kinematics; Motor Learning; Sports Science; tRNS



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Kinesiology Commons