Action specificity increases anticipatory performance and the expert advantage in natural interceptive tasks

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Mann, David, Abernethy, B and Farrow, Damian ORCID: 0000-0002-5020-7910 (2010) Action specificity increases anticipatory performance and the expert advantage in natural interceptive tasks. Acta Psychologica, 135 (1). pp. 17-23. ISSN 0001-6918


The relationship between perception–action coupling and anticipatory skill in an interceptive task was examined using an in-situ temporal occlusion paradigm. Skilled and novice cricket batsmen were required to predict the direction of balls bowled towards them under four counterbalanced response conditions of increasing perception–action coupling: (i) verbal, (ii) lower-body movement only, (iii) full-body movement (no bat), and (iv) full-body movement with bat (i.e., the usual batting response). Skilled but not novice anticipation was found to improve as a function of coupling when responses were based on either no ball-flight, or early ball-flight information, with a response requiring even the lowest degree of body movement found to enhance anticipation when compared to a verbal prediction. Most importantly, a full-body movement using a bat elicited greater anticipation than an equivalent movement with no bat. This result highlights the important role that the requirement and/or opportunity to make bat–ball interception may play in eliciting skill differences for anticipation. Results verify the importance of using experimental conditions and task demands that closely reflect the natural performance environment in order to reveal the full nature of the expert advantage.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.04.006
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > SEO Classification > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Keywords ResPubID21117, ResPubID22309, expertise, perception, cricket, vision-for-action, perceptual-motor
Citations in Scopus 115 - View on Scopus
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