Background. The efficacy of emotional and motivational regulation can determine athletic performance. Giving the short duration and fast changing nature of emotions experienced by athletes in competition, it is important to examine the temporal dynamics of emotional and motivational regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate emotional and motivational regulation as measured by frontal alpha asymmetry in skilled golfers during putting performance after a performance failure. Methods. Twenty skilled university golfers were recruited and requested to perform 40 putts at an individualized difficulty level of 40-60% successful putting rate. Trials immediately after a failed putt were selected for analysis. Successful performances were those trials where a hole was and unsuccessful performances were those that failed. The frontal alpha asymmetry index of LnF4-LnF3 was derived for statistical analysis. Results. (1) Successful performance was preceded by a larger frontal alpha asymmetry index at T2 than that of T1, and (2) a larger frontal alpha asymmetry index was observed for unsuccessful performance than for successful performance at T1. Discussion. The results suggest that successful emotional and motivational regulation was characterized by a progressive increase of frontal alpha asymmetry, which led to subsequent putting success when facing an emotionally provocative putting failure. These findings shed light on the application of frontal alpha asymmetry for the understanding and enhancement of emotional and motivational regulation during sport performance.
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