Oculomotor Control in Amputee Soccer Players

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The authors investigated the dynamics of saccadic parameters during a stationary oculomotor target task in amputee soccer players (n = 16), able-bodied soccer players (n = 16), and nonathletic control subjects (n = 16). Eye movements during the visual-search tasks were recorded binocularly using a mobile eye-tracking system, and the gaze parameters were analyzed (fixation duration, saccade duration, saccade amplitude, saccade average acceleration, saccade peak deceleration, saccade average velocity, and ocular mobility index). The average saccade acceleration in the amputee soccer players was significantly lower than in the able-bodied players (p = .021). Other saccade characteristics in disabled athletes were comparable to those of the able-bodied groups. Moreover, the able-bodied soccer players presented faster saccadic parameters than nonathletes in terms of saccade acceleration (p = .002), deceleration (p = .015), and velocity (p = .009). The modification of oculomotor functions may result from extensive practice and participation in ball games. The authors’ hypothesis that oculomotor functions in amputee soccer players may be impaired was not fully confirmed.

Jedziniak and Zwierko are with the Laboratory of Kinesiology, Functional and Structural Human Research Center, Inst. of Physical Culture and Health, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland. Lesiakowski is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.

Zwierko (teresa.zwierko@usz.edu.pl) is corresponding author.
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