Neurocognitive Functioning in Elite Athletes
There is increasing evidence that elite athletes who perform at a top level also show a high performance in executive functions. Executive functions are higher-order cognitive functions such as planning, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control. The question arises whether an increase in physical activity, as is the case during years of training to obtain a higher and higher level, may yield an improvement in executive functions. Also, the question arises whether the risk of head trauma across contact sports may coincide with a decline in various neurocognitive functions. This chapter in The Secret Balance of Champions focusses on the neurocognitive functioning in elite athletes and provides guidance for the management and prevention of neurocognitive decline.