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Psychophysiological Characteristics of Volitional Powers in Student Athletes Under Load Simulation. P. 128–136

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Section: Physiology




Ol’ga A. Makunina*
*The Urals State University of Physical Culture (Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation)
Corresponding author: Ol’ga Makunina, address: ul. Ordzhonikidze 1, Chelyabinsk, 454091, Russian Federation; e-mail:


Success in sports and education largely depends on the developmental level of volitional powers as components of individual human resources. Thus, studying psychophysiological and autonomic changes in student athletes under simulated loads activating their volitional powers is of scientific interest. The research involved 138 male student athletes doing cyclic sports and having sports qualification ranks. Their mean age is 20 years and average sport experience is 9 years. Volitional powers – purposefulness and initiative – were studied using the result-oriented tapping test. The indices of purposefulness and initiative were then calculated. To record the levels of excitability and mobility of the nervous system, we applied the simple hand-eye coordination and critical flicker-fusion frequency tests, respectively. The autonomic regulation of heart rate was studied using cardiorhythmogram followed by the spectral analysis. The research showed that the regulatory systems of student athletes with low and average initiative index are not exposed to considerable stress. At the same time, high levels of initiative and purposefulness cause the regulatory system greater stress and increase the excitability of the nerve centres. Increased excitability and sympathetic type of regulation of the nervous system in students with high initiative index are explained by the formation of the behavioural functional system. The paper revealed the role of certain psychophysiological mechanisms in students’ ability to use volitional powers (initiative and purposefulness) under mental and physical loads combined.


volitional powers, initiative, purposefulness, student athletes, tapping test, excitability of nervous processes, mobility of nervous processes, autonomic regulation of heart rate
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