On the Interaction of Attentional Focus and Gaze: The Quiet Eye Inhibits Focus-Related Performance Decrements

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Bern
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To date, despite a large body of evidence in favor of the advantage of an effect-related focus of attention compared with a movement-related focus of attention in motor control and learning, the role of vision in this context remains unclear. Therefore, in a golf-putting study, the relation between attentional focus and gaze behavior (in particular, quiet eye, or QE) was investigated. First, the advantage of an effect-related focus, as well as of a long QE duration, could be replicated. Furthermore, in the online-demanding task of golf putting, high performance was associated with later QE offsets. Most decisively, an interaction between attentional focus and gaze behavior was revealed in such a way that the efficiency of the QE selectively manifested under movement-related focus instructions. As these findings suggest neither additive effects nor a causal chain, an alternative hypothesis is introduced explaining positive QE effects by the inhibition of not-to-be parameterized movement variants.

André Klostermann, Ralf Kredel, and Ernst-Joachim Hossner are with Movement Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Address author correspondence to André Klostermann at andre.klostermann@ispw.unibe.ch.

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