2023, Volume 19
Brain dominance of competitive fencers by weapon, gender and sport performance
Radu Predoiu1, Gabriela Dințică2, Andreea Lupu3, Ryszard Makarowski4, Andrzej Piotrowski5, Karol Görner6, Dan Badea7, Alexandra Predoiu7, Mihaela Roco8
1National University of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Bucharest | University of Craiova, Doctoral School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Craiova, Romania
2Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Teachers\' Training Department, National University of Physical Education and Sports, Bucharest, Romania
3Romanian Fencing Federation, Bucharest, Romania
4Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, Academy of Applied Medical and Social Sciences in Elblag, Elblag, Poland
5Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland; Institute of Pedagogy, Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Słupsk, Poland
6Faculty of Sports, University of Presov, Presov, Slovak Republic
7Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Sports and Motor Performance Department, National University of Physical Education and Sports, Bucharest, Romania
8Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
Author for correspondence: Radu Predoiu; National University of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Bucharest | University of Craiova, Doctoral School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Craiova, Romania; email: email@example.com
Background and Study Aims: Fencing was investigated in the specialised literature as being part of striking combat sports. The purpose of this study is knowledge about the dominant areas of the brain of fencing athletes according to weapon, gender, and sports performances.
Materials and Methods: Forty-one competitive Romanian fencers, 23 female and 18 male athletes (Mage = 23.2), took part in the study. The Brain Dominance Questionnaire was used, adapted by Roco (2004) after the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). The questionnaire items are arranged in four sections corresponding to the four brain quadrants proposed by Herrmann (who pioneered the Whole Brain Thinking approach): upper and lower left quadrants of the brain (ULQ and LLQ), respectively upper and lower right sectors (URQ and LRQ).
Results: Fencers with international results use less the upper right quadrant of the brain than fencers having local/regional results, being, therefore, less involved in risky activities, and operating less outside the rules/norms. After applying the Kruskal-Wallis test no significant differences were found between the three groups of athletes, according to the weapon used: foil, épée or sabre. However, regardless of the weapon, fencers are organised, planned individuals who establish procedures and take preventive measures (aspects specific to LLQ), are better at analytical activities and prefer to solve problems through reasoning and logic (aspects specific to ULQ), using more the left hemisphere. Also, fencers in foil are using more the upper right quadrant of the brain (URQ), comparing to fencers who use sabre or épée, using thus imagination more to solve game situations. Gender-related findings were discussed, female fencers using more the lower right quadrant, being more sensitive persons, who like more to be supportive in social interactions.
Conclusions: Fencers, having both high level performances and without outstanding sport results use (slightly more) the left hemisphere (compared to the right hemisphere). Fencers, whether they use the sabre, épée or foil, predominantly use the upper left quadrant of the brain and the lower left sector. Considering the differences by gender, a more integrated use of both cerebral hemispheres was observed in female fencers.
Key words: fencing, cerebral preferences, sports performance, Whole Brain Model