Recent motor control theories suggest that the brain uses internal models to plan and control accurate movements. An internal model is thought to represent how the biomechanics of the arm interacting with the outside world would respond to a motor command; therefore it can be seen as a predictive model of the reafference that helps the system plan ahead. Moreover, adaptation studies show that humans can learn multiple internal models. It is not clear, however, whether and how contextual cues are used to switch among competing internal models, which are required to compensate for altered environments. To investigate this question, we asked healthy participants to perform center-out pointing movements under normal and distorted visual feedback (0°, 30° counterclockwise, and 60° clockwise rotation of hand-screen cursor relationships) conditions. The results suggest that humans can learn multiple environments simultaneously and can use contextual cues to facilitate adaptation and to recall the appropriate internal model of the visuomotor transformation.
Sima Mistry and Jose L. Contreras-Vidal
Cheryl Glazebrook, Digby Elliott, James Lyons and Luc Tremblay
This study investigated inhibition of return in persons with and without Down syndrome (DS) when visual or verbal cues were used to specify a target in a crossmodal paradigm. Individuals with DS and without DS performed manual aiming movements to a target located in right or left hemispace. The target was specified by an endogenous visual or verbal stimulus. Both groups were significantly slower when responding to the same target as the previous trial when the target was cued in a different modality. Although participants with DS initiated and executed their movements more slowly, they demonstrated a similar pattern of inhibition as people without DS, suggesting that inhibitory processes are functioning normally in persons with DS.
This case study examines star Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens’s image-repair strategies during a press conference he held to respond to allegations that he had used steroids and human-growth hormones earlier in his playing career. When professional athletes are confronted with allegations of cheating or illegitimately enhancing their athletic performance, they are faced with a crisis situation, and selecting and performing the appropriate response is paramount in repairing their image and mitigating personal harm (e.g., loss of endorsements). In many cases, however, professional athletes rely on attorneys, agents, or other individuals who might underestimate the relevance of appropriately communicating image repair, thereby resulting in the athlete’s image being further damaged. Although Clemens employed various image-repair strategies during his press conference, his failure to enact these strategies appropriately further harmed his reputation and ultimately raised more questions than he answered.
Symeon Vlachopoulos, Stuart Biddle and Kenneth Fox
This study examined how achievement goal orientations, perceived sport competence, perceptions of success, and perceived outcome attributions affect children’s exercise-induced feeling states following physical exercise. The construct validity of the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory and a modification of the Causal Dimension Scale II for children was also investigated. Children (N = 304) responded to measures on the above scales. Task orientation, perceived success, and an ego orientation, combined with high perceptions of sport competence, were positive predictors of states of positive engagement, revitalization, and tranquillity; only task orientation was a negative predictor of physical exhaustion. The locus of causality dimension appeared to mediate the impact of perceptions of success on positive engagement, but with a negligible effect. The results were consistent with previous findings highlighting the motivational advantage of adopting a task orientation in physical achievement situations and demonstrated the role of task orientation as a determinant of affect in exercise testing in children.
Linda M. Petlichkoff
This study examined group differences among interscholastic sport participants (Le., starters, nonstarters, and survivors) on several psychological constructs. Specifically, achievement goal orientations, perceived ability, and costs/benefits of involvement were examined over the course of an interscholastic sport season. Athletes (N=249) responded to an Interscholastic Sport Questionnaire on three occasions during the season. The results from a doubly multivariate repeated-measures MANOVA revealed a significant Player Status × Time of Assessment interaction. Follow-up analyses for player status differences indicated that perceived ability contributed substantially to group differences. Specifically, starters rated their perceived ability higher than survivors at all three assessments, and higher than nonstarters at the initial assessment. For the time-of-season differences, only survivors differed significantly across the three assessments on the mastery and ability goal orientations, and level of satisfaction. Results indicated that the end-of-season assessments for survivors were lower on each measure than at both the tryout and prior-to-competition assessments.
Kerrie J. Kauer and Vikki Krane
Edited by Lavon Williams
This investigation, framed in feminist and social identity perspectives, examined female athletes’ interpretations and reactions to the stereotypes ascribed to women in sport. Interviews with 15 female collegiate athletes revealed that the primary stereotypes directed at them were that they were lesbian and masculine. These stereotypes seemed to emanate from the athletes’ lack of conformity to hegemonic femininity (Choi, 1998; Krane, 2001a). Initially, the athletes responded to being typecast with anger and they used social mobility strategies (e.g., distancing from an athletic identity, performing femininity) to avoid negative perceptions. Both heterosexual and lesbian/bisexual athletes coped with being stereotyped and grew more comfortable with their own sexual identities and those of their teammates. This led to the development of inclusive team environments, collective esteem, and empowerment, with athletes speaking out against homonegative comments in other settings.
Coyte G. Cooper and Richard M. Southall
Over the past few decades, college sport in the United States has increasingly adopted a commercial institutional logic when engaging in an athletics “arms race.” With decisions by some athletic directors to eliminate certain nonrevenue Olympic sport programs for spending reallocation, it stands to reason that programs such as men’s wrestling will need to enhance their revenue streams to remain viable in future years. The purpose of the study was to investigate the motivational preferences of online wrestling consumers (N = 451) to provide a core foundation for the development of strategies to enhance interest in the college-wrestling product. In addition to illustrating that online consumers responded most favorably to the sport-related wrestling motives, the data also supported the notion that the motivational preferences of consumers varied when focusing on the demographic information of participants.
Koen Put, Marcus V.C. Baldo, André M. Cravo, Johan Wagemans and Werner F. Helsen
In association football, the flash-lag effect appears to be a viable explanation for erroneous offside decision making. Due to this spatiotemporal illusion, assistant referees (ARs) perceive the player who receives the ball ahead of his real position. In this experiment, a laboratory decision-making task was used to demonstrate that international top-class ARs, compared with amateur soccer players, do not have superior perceptual sensitivity. They clearly modify their decision criterion according to the contextual needs and, therefore, show a higher response bias toward not responding to the stimulus, in particular in the most difficult situations. Thus, international ARs show evidence for response-level compensation, resulting in a specific cost (i.e., more misses), which clearly reflects the use of particular (cognitive) strategies. In summary, it appears that experts in offside decision making can be distinguished from novices more on the cognitive or decision-making level than on the perceptual level.
Amir A. Mohagheghi, J. Greg Anson, Brian I. Hyland, Louise Parr-Brownlie and Jeffrey R. Wickens
The effect of foreperiod length on reaction time in memorized (MM) and nonmemorized (NM), precued, delayed responses was investigated. Six subjects participated in one long and one short foreperiod schedule testing session. An aiming task, using elbow supination/pronation, in response to a visual stimulus was employed. In the MM condition, target spatial information was available for a fraction of the foreperiod duration. In the NM condition, target information was available continuously until the subject attained the target position. Subjects responded with a significantly longer latency in the long foreperiod schedule. Within each foreperiod schedule, the shortest foreperiod resulted in significantly longer reaction time. However, the absolute value of foreperiod did not have a major effect on reaction time latency. Memorization and nonmemorization conditions did not affect reaction time.
Kimberly L. Oliver and Rosary Lalik
Drawing on poststructuralism and related theoretical perspectives, we worked in girls’ physical education classes to examine the development and implementation of a curriculum strand focusing on girls’ bodies. The purpose was to help adolescent girls name the discourses that shape their lives and regulate their bodies. We asked two major questions: What were the major tasks actually used during the enactment of the curriculum strand? and: What issues and concerns emerged for us as we enacted the strand and how did we respond? This study took place in a 7th–12th grade rural high school in the southern United States. We collected data during the 2000–2001 school year in three girls’ physical education classes. We conducted 14 sessions for each class and analyzed our data using the constant comparison method. Several issues emerged including: making the curriculum meaningful, offsetting task difficulties, sustaining ethical relationships, and lessening interference of research culture.