Hearing and sports: a bidirectional interaction. [Audición y Control motor: Una relación recíproca].
Motor control is crucially dependent on many sensory inputs that involve classically the proprioreceptors located in the tendons, joints and the muscle itself as well as inputs from the vestibular organ and eyes (Fitzpatrick and McCloskey, 1994). However, additional sensory input from the auditory system is often necessary to perform the sport-associated complex motor-tasks. This holds not only for team sports that requires continuous communication with the other players but also for others such as figure skating or gymnastics where the movements of the body need to be coordinated with music. In addition, hearing is also important for avoiding accidents e.g. during skiing to recognize other people on the same track. Conversely, specific sports wear used in these sports may negatively influence hearing as it was shown for ski helmets that reduce perception of safety-relevant frequencies (Ruedl, Kopp, Burtscher, Zorowka, Weichbold, Stephan, Koci and Seebacher, 2014; Tudor, Ruzic, Bencic, Sestan and Bonifacic, 2010). Moreover, the reaction time and force generated during voluntary contractions could be influenced by sound. For instance, runners closer to the starter's pistol at Olympic Games react sooner than runners farther away (Brown, Kenwell, Maraj and Collins, 2008). Finally, hearing could even influence the overall physical fitness as it might be reduced in deaf children (Hartman, Visscher and Houwen, 2007) although other studies could not confirm (Wierzbicka-Damska, Samolyk, Jethon, Wiercinska and Murawska-Cialowicz, 2005). In the elderly, sensory deficits such as poor vision and hearing may increase the risk of mobility decline (Viljanen, Kaprio, Pyykko, Sorri, Koskenvuo and Rantanen, 2009a; Viljanen, Kaprio, Pyykko, Sorri, Pajala, Kauppinen, Koskenvuo and Rantanen, 2009b).
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