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Neurobiology of performance anxiety:A new approach

  • Autori: Contrò, V; Nuzzo, D; Alesi, M; Schiera, G; Cannizzaro, C; Di Carlo, M; Di Liegro, I; Proia, P
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


The aim of this study is to investigate the neurobiology of stress/emotionality, creating a multidisciplinary assessment model, which can help to provide psychological and physiological responses depending on the genetic background related to sport performances, social closeness and performance anxiety management in team sports. We enrolled 20 female volleyball players aged 13 ± 1 years old played in two different teams during a regional championship final. Saliva collection was carried out before and after the match. In order to evaluate the neuroendocrine effectors involved in stress and performance, we analyzed cortisol and progesterone levels through Elisa standard kit as well as HSP70 and amylase activity as stress-induced markers. As concern the psychometric assesment, we administrated he CSAI-2 test, Closeness Generating Procedure and STAI test. Genomic DNA was isolated from saliva cells using a QIAamp saliva kit according to the manufacturer’s protocols. The SNP of the 5-HTTLPR, BDNF, DRD4 were analyzed. The results of the T-test performed on the total results showed a statistically significant relationship (p < 0.05) in cortisol levels pre and post match, as well between amylase and HP70 according to the genetic background. The analysis performed using just post match samples show a negative correlation between social closeness, cortisol and progesterone levels, with p < 0.010 for progesterone vs social closeness and p < 0.012 for cortisol vs social closeness. About the winner teams and the looser teams, there is a negative correlation between pre match cortisol levels and performance anxiety (p < 0.042).