No neuropsychological consequence in male and female soccer players after a short heading training

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2011 Nov;26(7):583-91. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acr055. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


The impact of heading on neuropsychological performance is a subject of controversy. In this experimental study, a controlled group design was used to investigate the possible effects of a short heading training session on neuropsychological performance. Ninety-one participants matched by age, sex, and intelligence were assigned to one of the following groups: A heading-training group, a placebo control group, and a waiting control group. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery for attention and working memory (D2 Test, Benton Visual Retention Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task Test). After 1 week, they received heading training, football (e.g., soccer) training without heading, or no training. Immediately after this training, the neuropsychological tests were conducted again. There was no neuropsychological deficit which could only be attributed to the heading training. However, within the heading group, women complained more about headache than men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Soccer / psychology*
  • Teaching / statistics & numerical data*