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Flotation REST and Imagery in the Improvement of Athletic Performance

Peter Suedfeld and Talino Bruno

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Enhancing Perceptual-Motor Accuracy through Flotation REST

Peter Suedfeld, Drew E. Collier, and Bruce D.G. Hartnett

Previous studies using flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) to enhance motor performance have focused on relatively gross arm and leg movements and have combined the technique with a variety of imaginal practice and relaxation training procedures. This study independently varied REST and an imaginal training and relaxation script to improve accuracy among novice, intermediate, and expert darts players. REST by itself and REST combined with the script were equally effective in enhancing performance (M change about +12%). The imagery script alone and a no-treatment control condition resulted in no change on test-retest measures. The results indicate that in the area of perceptual-motor coordination, REST is not merely a potentiator of other techniques, but a useful and efficient unimodal intervention, which takes a short time and does not require further rehearsal or repetition.