insights into the breakdown of attempts to control attention are outlined by attentional-control theory ( Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ), which focuses on the debilitative influence anxiety can have on attempts to control attention, thus offering some insights into why athletes may become
Alex Oliver, Paul J. McCarthy, and Lindsey Burns
Emmanuel Ducrocq, Mark Wilson, Tim J. Smith, and Nazanin Derakshan
, 2013 ). It has been suggested that such performance breakdowns can be explained in terms of impairment in the attentional control required to ensure the efficient preparation and execution of complex movements ( Eysenck & Wilson, 2016 ; Vine, Lee, Moore, & Wilson, 2013 ). According to recent models of
Emmanuel Ducrocq, Mark Wilson, Sam Vine, and Nazanin Derakshan
Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.
Mark R. Wilson, Greg Wood, and Samuel J. Vine
The current study sought to test the predictions of attentional control theory (ACT) in a sporting environment. Fourteen experienced footballers took penalty kicks under low- and high-threat counterbalanced conditions while wearing a gaze registration system. Fixations to target locations (goalkeeper and goal area) were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. When anxious, footballers made faster first fixations and fixated for significantly longer toward the goalkeeper. This disruption in gaze behavior brought about significant reductions in shooting accuracy, with shots becoming significantly centralized and within the goalkeeper’s reach. These findings support the predictions of ACT, as anxious participants were more likely to focus on the “threatening” goalkeeper, owing to an increased influence of the stimulus-driven attentional control system.
Mark R. Wilson, Samuel J. Vine, and Greg Wood
The aim of this study was to test the predictions of attentional control theory using the quiet eye period as an objective measure of attentional control. Ten basketball players took free throws in two counterbalanced experimental conditions designed to manipulate the anxiety they experienced. Point of gaze was measured using an ASL Mobile Eye tracker and fixations including the quiet eye were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. The manipulation of anxiety resulted in significant reductions in the duration of the quiet eye period and free throw success rate, thus supporting the predictions of attentional control theory. Anxiety impaired goal-directed attentional control (quiet eye period) at the expense of stimulus-driven control (more fixations of shorter duration to various targets). The findings suggest that attentional control theory may be a useful theoretical framework for examining the relationship between anxiety and performance in visuomotor sport skills.
Shu-Shih Hsieh, Yu-Kai Chang, Chin-Lung Fang, and Tsung-Min Hung
The current study examined the effects of acute resistance exercise (RE) on adult males’ attention control. Eighteen younger males (23.9 ± 2.3 years) and 17 older males (66.4 ± 1.2 years) were recruited. Participants underwent a RE session and a reading session in a counterbalanced order. RE protocol required individuals to perform two sets of 10 repetitions of eight exercises using weights set at 70% of 10-repetition maximum. Attention control was assessed by go/no-go SART with intraindividual variability in reaction times (IIV in RT), in addition to reaction time and accuracy, employed as measures of attention control. Results indicated that IIV in RT was smaller following RE sessions than after reading sessions for both age groups. In addition, RTs were shorter after the exercise session. These findings suggest that RE enhances attention control in adult males and that the size of this effect is not moderated by age.
Melissa Hunfalvay and Nicholas Murray
The purpose of this study was to examine whether prior biped tennis playing experience results in different visual search strategies compared with no prior biped playing experience. A total of 32 wheelchair (WC) tennis players, 17 males and 15 females, ranked between 1 and 16 on the International Tennis Federation rankings participated in this study. Half the players had prior experience playing tennis as a biped player, and half had no prior experience in biped tennis. The athletes viewed 18 different serves from an expert WC player while their gaze was monitored using eye tracking. Results revealed significant differences between the groups in fixation duration and number of fixations. Differences were also found in fixation locations and durations across biomechanical phases of the serve. The WC only players had more fixations for shorter periods than did WC with biped players in the ritual phase. In the preparatory and execution phases, however, the WC only players had fewer fixations for longer duration than the WC with biped players. Results are discussed in terms of long-term memory structures, learning, and considerations when coaching and training WC tennis players.
Aynollah Naderi, Fatemeh Shaabani, Hassan Gharayagh Zandi, Luís Calmeiro, and Britton W. Brewer
, including lack of attentional control groups ( Edvardsson, Ivarsson, & Johnson, 2012 ; Perna et al., 2003 ; Tranaeus et al., 2015 ) and preferential selection of athletes who are at risk of acute injury ( Johnson et al., 2005 ; Perna et al., 2003 ; Tranaeus et al., 2015 ). In injury intervention studies
Elizabeth A. Schlenk, G. Kelley Fitzgerald, Joan C. Rogers, C. Kent Kwoh, and Susan M. Sereika
HBP and physical activity. The primary aim was to evaluate the impact of the STAR intervention, compared with attention-control intervention, on LEE, fitness walking, BP, and performance-based functional status at immediate postintervention and 6-month postintervention. The hypothesis was that at both
Jared D. Ramer, María E. Santiago-Rodríguez, Catherine L. Davis, David X. Marquez, Stacy L. Frazier, and Eduardo E. Bustamante
randomized controlled trial assigned African American children with ADHD and/or DBD to a 10-week aerobic exercise program (PA) or a similar, but sedentary, attention control (AC) program with the same duration, staff, rules, routines, reinforcements, and school setting. We hypothesized that (1) children