Context Affects Quiet Eye Duration and Motor Performance Independent of Cognitive Effort

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Chichester
  • 2 King's College London
  • 3 University of Hertfordshire
  • 4 St. Mary’s University, Twickenham
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Extensive literature has shown the effect of “quiet eye” (QE) on motor performance. However, little attention has been paid to the context in which tasks are executed (independent of anxiety) and the mechanisms that underpin the phenomenon. Here, the authors aimed to investigate the effects of context (independent of anxiety) on QE and performance while examining if the mechanisms underpinning QE are rooted in cognitive effort. In this study, 21 novice participants completed golf putts while pupil dilation, QE duration, and putting accuracy were measured. Results showed that putting to win was more accurate compared with the control (no context) condition, and QE duration was longer when putting to win or tie a hole compared with control. There was no effect of context on pupil dilation. Results suggest that, while the task was challenging, performance scenarios can enhance representativeness of practice without adding additional load to cognitive resources, even for novice performers.

Runswick, Jewiss, and Sharpe are with the Inst. of Sport, University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom. Runswick is also with the Dept. of Psychology, Inst. of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom. Jewiss is also with the School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. North is with the Faculty of Sport, Allied Health and Performance Science, St. Mary’s University, London, United Kingdom.

Runswick (oliver.runswick@kcl.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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