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Effect of Skill Level on Allocation of Visual Attention in Volleyball Blocking

Jason C. Laffer, Aaron J. Coutts, and Job Fransen

visual attention. Specifically, studies that used in situ assessments of gaze behavior have been fundamental in continuing the evolution of research into perceptual–cognitive behavior in sport. By facilitating a performance environment which aligns with the principles of representative learning design

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Athletic Image Type Influences Women’s Social Physique Anxiety and Visual Attention

Doris Bazzini, Chris Dickinson, Alison N. Cooke, Amanda Pepper, Jessica Udry, and Sidney Murray

to particular body areas (head/face vs. torso vs. limbs), and (c) exploring whether the influence of image type on SPA might be mediated by visual attention to particular areas of an athlete’s body, as measured by eye-tracking technology. Hypothesis 1 predicted that sexualized images would increase

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Binocular Vision Disorders and Visual Attention: Associations With Balance and Mobility in Older Adults

Mohammed M. Althomali and Susan J. Leat

common in older adults (30% of adults aged 70 to 79 and 38% of adults over 80 years old have a BV disorder). Few studies have examined the contribution of binocular vision to balance and locomotion control. Visual attention, which is one aspect of visual processing, has also been associated with errors

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Preservation of Visual Attention in Older Expert Orienteers at Rest and under Physical Effort

Caterina Pesce, Lucio Cereatti, Rita Casella, Carlo Baldari, and Laura Capranica

This study investigated the visual attention of older expert orienteers and older adults not practicing activities with high attentional and psychomotor demands, and considered whether prolonged practice of orienteering may counteract the age-related deterioration of visual attentional performance both at rest and under acute exercise. In two discriminative reaction time experiments, performed both at rest and under submaximal physical workload, visual attention was cued by means of spatial cues of different sizes followed, at different stimulus-onset asynchronies, by compound stimuli with local and global target features. Orienteers, as compared to nonathletes, showed a faster reaction speed and a complex pattern of attentional differences depending on the time constraints of the attentional task, the demands on endogenous attentional control, and the presence or absence of a concomitant effortful motor task. Results suggest that older expert orienteers have developed attentional skills that outweigh, at least at rest, the age-related deficits of visual attentional focusing.

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Does Visual Attention Impact on Decision Making in Complex Dynamic Events?

Stefanie Hüttermann, Werner F. Helsen, Koen Put, and Daniel Memmert

-controlled distribution of visual attention during decision making ( Orquin & Mueller Loose, 2013 ). The better a person can perceive objects/events within the attentional focus, the better various challenges and difficulties can be managed. The current research aimed to investigate how individual differences in

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Training Perceptual Skill by Orienting Visual Attention

Norbert Hagemann, Bernd Strauss, and Rouwen Cañal-Bruland

A major element in expert sports performance, particularly racket-and-ball games, is excellent anticipatory skill. A prestudy combined the temporal and spatial occlusion paradigms to ascertain which key stimuli badminton players use for anticipating the direction of overhead shots. The main study then evaluated a program for training anticipatory skills; 200 video clips were employed to orient attention toward these key stimuli. Participants were 63 badminton novices, 20 national league players, and 21 local league players. A transparent red patch (exogenous orienting) was used to orient attention toward the trunk up to 160 ms before racket-shuttle contact; the arm, from 160 ms to 80 ms before contact; and the racket, from 80 ms before to actual contact. Results showed that badminton novices who trained with this program significantly improved their anticipatory skill between post- and retention test compared with controls. Whereas local league players improved from pre- to posttest, training had no effect on expert national league players. It is concluded that using red transparent patches to highlight the most informative cues in perceptual training programs is a promising way to improve anticipatory skill.

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The Influence of Anxiety on Visual Attention in Climbing

Arne Nieuwenhuys, J. Rob Pijpers, Raôul R.D. Oudejans, and Frank C. Bakker

The object of the current study was to investigate anxiety-induced changes in movement and gaze behavior in novices on a climbing wall. Identical traverses were situated at high and low levels on a climbing wall to manipulate anxiety. In line with earlier studies, climbing times and movement times increased under anxiety. These changes were accompanied by similar changes in total and average fixation duration and the number of fixations, which were primarily aimed at the holds used for climbing. In combination with these findings, a decrease in search rate provided evidence for a decrease in processing efficiency as anxiety increased.

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The Influence of Anxiety on Visual Attentional Control in Basketball Free Throw Shooting

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.

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“I Spy with My Little Eye!”: Breadth of Attention, Inattentional Blindness, and Tactical Decision Making in Team Sports

Daniel Memmert and Philip Furley

Failures of awareness are common when attention is otherwise engaged. Such failures are prevalent in attention-demanding team sports, but surprisingly no studies have explored the inattentional blindness paradigm in complex sport game-related situations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision-making in team ball sports. A series of studies revealed that inattentional blindness exists in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 1). More tactical instructions can lead to a narrower breadth of attention, which increases inattentional blindness, whereas fewer tactical instructions widen the breadth of attention in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 2). Further meaningful exogenous stimuli reduce inattentional blindness (Experiment 3). The results of all experiments are discussed in connection with consciousness and attention theories as well as creativity and training in team sports.

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Effects of Vision on Head-Putter Coordination in Golf

David Antonio Gonzalez, Stefan Kegel, Tadao Ishikura, and Tim Lee

Low-skill golfers coordinate the movements of their head and putter with an allocentric, isodirectional coupling, which is opposite to the allocentric, antidirectional coordination pattern used by experts (Lee, Ishikura, Kegel, Gonzalez, & Passmore, 2008). The present study investigated the effects of four vision conditions (full vision, no vision, target focus, and ball focus) on head-putter coupling in low-skill golfers. Performance in the absence of vision resulted in a level of high isodirectional coupling that was similar to the full vision condition. However, when instructed to focus on the target during the putt, or focus on the ball through a restricted viewing angle, low-skill golfers significantly decoupled the head—putter coordination pattern.. However, outcome measures demonstrated that target focus resulted in poorer performance compared with the other visual conditions, thereby providing overall support for use of a ball focus strategy to enhance coordination and outcome performance. Focus of attention and reduced visual tracking were hypothesized as potential reasons for the decoupling.