Mark R Wilson

Mark R Wilson
University of Exeter | UoE · College of Life and Environmental Sciences

MEng MSc PhD

About

180
Publications
118,076
Reads
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6,160
Citations
Citations since 2017
81 Research Items
4203 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
Additional affiliations
March 2010 - September 2010
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Honorary Associate Professor
September 2006 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2004 - August 2006
Manchester Metropolitan University
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (180)
Preprint
While the disruptive effects of anxiety on attention and performance have been well documented, the antecedents to anxiety in motivated performance scenarios are less well understood. We therefore sought to understand the cognitive appraisals that mediate the relationship between pressurised performance situations and the onset of anxiety. We teste...
Preprint
Several competing neuro-computational theories of autism have emerged from predictive coding models of the brain. These accounts have a common focus on the relationship between prior beliefs and sensory inputs as a mechanism for explaining key features of autism, yet they differ in exactly how they characterise atypicalities in perception and actio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Simulation methods, including physical synthetic environments, already play a substantial role in human skills training in the military and are commonly used for developing situational awareness and judgemental skills. The rapid development of virtual reality technologies has provided a new opportunity for performing this type of training, but befo...
Preprint
This report describes the results of the design, development, and pilot testing of a virtual reality interception task. The task was designed to measure anticipatory eye movements as a way to index the evolution of probabilistic beliefs about the environment. We sought to validate the task as a way to measure predictions by manipulating statistics...
Article
Full-text available
The talent development processes in youth football are both complex and multidimensional. The purpose of this two-fold study was to apply a multidisciplinary, machine learning approach to examine: (a) the developmental characteristics of under-9 to under-16 academy players (n = 98; Study 1), and (b) the characteristics of selected and deselected un...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this study we examined the relationship between physiological encoding of surprise and the learning of anticipatory eye movements. Active inference portrays perception and action as interconnected inference processes driven by the imperative to minimise the surprise of sensory observations. To examine this characterisation of oculomotor learning...
Preprint
Full-text available
The control of eye gaze is critical to the execution of many skills. The observation that task experts in many domains exhibit more efficient control of eye gaze than novices has led to the development of gaze training interventions that teach these behaviours. We aimed to extend this literature by i) examining the relative benefits of feed-forward...
Article
Full-text available
Optimal performance in time-constrained and dynamically changing environments depends on making reliable predictions about future outcomes. In sporting tasks, performers have been found to employ multiple information sources to maximise the accuracy of their predictions, but questions remain about how different information sources are weighted and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Head-mounted eye tracking has been fundamental for developing an understanding of sporting expertise, as the way in which performers sample visual information from the environment is a major determinant of successful performance. There is, however, a long running tension between the desire to study realistic, in situ gaze behavior and the difficult...
Article
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Virtual reality (VR) has clear potential for improving simulation training in many industries. Yet, methods for testing the fidelity, validity and training efficacy of VR environments are, in general, lagging behind their adoption. There is limited understanding of how readily skills learned in VR will transfer, and what features of training design...
Article
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In light of recent advances in technology, there has been growing interest in virtual reality (VR) simulations for training purposes in a range of high-performance environments, from sport to nuclear decommissioning. For a VR simulation to elicit effective transfer of training to the real-world, it must provide a sufficient level of validity, that...
Article
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Flow is an optimal experience that has received particular interest within sport because of a possible relationship with enhanced athletic performances. Yet, the strength and direction of the putative flow–performance relationship remain unclear. Consequently, a PRISMA guided systematic review was conducted in May 2020 to examine the empirical evid...
Article
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Objectives In the context of Grand Slam tennis, we sought to examine how situational pressure and prior errors can disrupt subsequent performance in elite performers. Methods A retrospective analysis of more than 650,000 points across 12 Grand Slam tennis tournaments from 2016 to 2019 was conducted to identify pressurised in-game moments and unfor...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally transformed the healthcare training and education landscape, resulting in a desperate need for a system-wide exploration of scalable, flexible, user-friendly and resilient solutions that mitigate the long-term impact on the development of a skilled healthcare workforce that can deliver high-quality patient care...
Article
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Directing ocular fixations toward a target assists the planning and control of visually guided actions. In far aiming tasks, the quiet eye, an instance of premovement gaze anchoring, has been extensively studied as a key performance variable. However, theories of quiet eye are yet to establish the exact functional role of the location and duration...
Article
In an attempt to facilitate more appropriate levels of challenge, a common practice in academy football is to play-up talented youth players with chronologically older peers. However, the context of playing-up in academy football is yet to be empirically explored. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the multidimensional factors that diff...
Article
Technical ability is recognised as a fundamental prerequisite to achieve senior professional status in football. However, research is yet to investigate what technical attributes contribute to greater coach perceived potential within an academy environment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine technical ability and skill behaviour as con...
Article
Full-text available
The world’s greatest professional football players are able to execute effective tactical decisions as well as fulfil various physical demands. However, the degree to which both are associated with greater potential in a football academy is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate decision-making skill and physical performance a...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to explore the evolving perspectives of young players experiences going through the junior to senior transition in professional football. A primary objective was to adopt novel methods – weekly video diaries – to allow participants to control and report their own narratives as the transition unfolded over 40 weeks. Sem...
Article
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Background and Objectives: Individuals evaluate the demands and resources associated with a pressurized situation, which leads to distinct patterns of cardiovascular responses. While it is accepted that cognitive evaluations are updated throughout a pressurized situation, to date, cardiovascular markers have only been recorded immediately before, o...
Article
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Objective Virtual reality (VR) systems hold significant potential for training skilled behaviours and are currently receiving intense interest in the sporting domain. They offer both practical and pedagogical benefits, but there are concerns about the effect that perceptual deficiencies in VR systems (e.g. reduced haptic information, and stereoscop...
Article
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New computer technologies, like virtual reality (VR), have created opportunities to study human behavior and train skills in novel ways. VR holds significant promise for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of skill learning in a variety of settings (e.g., sport, medicine, safety-critical industries) through immersive learning and augmentati...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to explore whether a personalized self-talk intervention influenced mental toughness, rating of perceived exertion, sense of the urge to slow down, perceived performance and finish times in a series of 800-meter run time trials. While mental toughness has been associated with improved endurance performance, the effect...
Article
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Cognitive training (CT) aims to develop domain general mental abilities to support functions like decision making, multitasking, and performance under pressure. Research to date has indicated that CT likely aids performance on lab-based cognitive tests, but there has been little demonstration of transfer to tasks representative of real-world high p...
Article
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When tracking multiple moving targets among visually similar distractors, human observers are capable of distributing attention over several spatial locations. It is unclear, however, whether capacity limitations or perceptual–cognitive abilities are responsible for the development of expertise in multiple object tracking. Across two experiments, w...
Article
We examined the effect of verbalization of a phylogenetic motor skill, balance, in older and young adults with a low or a high propensity for conscious verbal engagement in their movements (reinvestment). Seventy-seven older adults and 53 young adults were categorized as high or low reinvestors, using the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale, which...
Article
The relative age effect (RAE) refers to the bias influence of birthdate distribution, with athletes born later in the selection year being under-represented in talent development systems. However, the ‘underdog hypothesis’ suggests that younger birth quarter (BQ) athletes are over-represented among those who successfully transition from youth syste...
Article
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Virtual reality (VR) is a promising tool for expanding the possibilities of psychological experimentation and implementing immersive training applications. Despite a recent surge in interest, there remains an inadequate understanding of how VR impacts basic cognitive processes. Due to the artificial presentation of egocentric distance cues in virtu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: A common practice in academy football is to ‘play up’ talented youth players against chronologically older peers with similar skill-sets. Playing up is believed to facilitate expertise by exposing athletes to higher levels of competition and practice intensity (Malina, 2010). However, the holistic characteristics associated with playi...
Article
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Background and Objectives: While the potentially negative effects of pressure on skilled performance have been well studied in laboratory-based research, theoretically driven questions based on real-world performance data are lacking. Design: We aimed to test the predictions of the newly developed Attentional Control Theory: Sport (ACTS), using arc...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to explore whether mental toughness varies across a 30-day training block and whether such variability is associated with specific antecedents. This exploratory case study research investigated mental toughness variability using the Mental Toughness Index (MTI) with thirteen elite master runners across a series of self...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: The bias influence of birth-date distribution in the talent identification process in elite youth football is known as the relative age effect (RAE). This indicates that children born earlier in their chronological year are significantly over represented in team selection compared to their younger counterparts. McCarthy et al. (2016)...
Article
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Background: Prosthetic hands impose a high cognitive burden on the user that often results in fatigue, frustration and prosthesis rejection. However, efforts to directly measure this burden are sparse and little is known about the mechanisms behind it. There is also a lack of evidence-based training interventions designed to improve prosthesis hand...
Article
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Objectives: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation that can modulate neural activity in targeted brain regions through electrical current applied directly to the scalp. Previous findings have shown cognitive enhancement and improved motor learning following tDCS. Consequently, there has been growing interest in...
Article
This paper presents the first two studies to explore the effect of challenge and threat states on endurance exercise capabilities. In study one, relationships between cardiovascular markers of challenge and threat states, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and exercise tolerance were explored during moderate- and severe-intensity cycling. Cardiov...
Article
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Compared to sports performers, relatively little is known about how sports officials make decisions at a perceptual-cognitive level. Thus, this study examined the decision-making accuracy and gaze behaviour of rugby union referees of varying skill levels while reviewing scrum scenarios. Elite (n = 9) and trainee (n = 9) referees, as well as experie...
Conference Paper
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Previous research highlights that coaches’ leadership behaviours influence the quality of athletes’ sport experiences (Fraser-Thomas & Côté, 2009). However, there is a need to better understand both how and why coaches apply leadership behaviours in youth sport. Thus, this study paired observation with stimulated-recall interviewing to describe con...
Article
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Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) struggle with the acquisition of coordinated motor skills. This paper adopts a dynamical systems perspective to assess how individual coordination solutions might emerge following an intervention that trained accurate gaze control in a throw and catch task. Kinematic data were collected from s...
Article
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Achieving a state of flow is associated with positive experiences and improved sporting performance (Jackson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1999). Focused attention is a fundamental component of the flow experience, but to date there has been little investigation of whether attention plays a causal role in creating flow, or is a product of it. Consequently, t...
Conference Paper
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Purpose: This study explored the contribution of a behavioural observation methodology by investigating coach leadership behaviours in an English football academy. Background: Coaches’ leadership behaviours are important for facilitating quality sport experiences. However, there is recognition that the questionnaires most commonly used to assess co...
Article
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Mental toughness has garnered considerable attention over the past two decades because of the perception that this psychological construct influences an athlete’s ability to strive, thrive, and survive in sport. However, few researchers have explored the lived experiences of mental toughness within endurance sport. Analysis of lived experiences cou...
Article
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The integrative framework of stress, attention, and visuomotor performance was developed to explain the benefits of responding to competitive pressure with a challenge rather than a threat state. However, the specific predictions of this framework have not been tested. Forty-two participants completed 2 trials of a pressurized soccer penalty task....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Advances in 3D technology mean that both robotic surgical devices and surgical simulators can now incorporate stereoscopic viewing capabilities. While depth information may benefit robotic surgical performance, it is unclear whether 3D viewing also aids skill acquisition when learning from observing others. As observational learning pl...
Conference Paper
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The evolution of football has continued to enhance the physical and technical attributes required to compete in the English Premier League (Barnes et al., 2014, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 35, 1095–1100). Therefore, these features must be considered whilst planning and delivering an academy programme to support optimum development tow...
Conference Paper
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Athletes' social interactions represent an important context through which positive development can be fostered (Fraser-Thomas & Côté, 2009). However, the existing literature has relied primarily on the use of retrospective or self-report measures that may not fully capture the complexity of athletes' behaviours (Meredith, Dicks, Noel, & Wagstaff,...
Article
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Background Acquiring new motor skills to learn complex movements and master the use of a diverse range of instruments is fundamental for developing expertise in surgery. Although aspects of skill development occur through trial and error, watching the performance of another individual (action observation) is an increasingly important adjunct for th...
Article
Full-text available
Whilst talent identification and development are often used interchangeably, they are different constructs; talent identification can be described as the process of recognising current participants with the potential to achieve expertise in a particular sport, whilst talent development can be considered as providing the most appropriate learning en...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Purpose: Physical performance characteristics, such as sprinting, jumping, and agility, have been found to influence elite youth football development towards professional status in European countries such as Austria (Gonaus & Muller, 2012), Belgium (Deprez et al. (2015), Finland (Forsman et al.,, 2016), Germany (Honer & Votteler, 2016), Holland (Hu...
Conference Paper
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Purpose: Current research within professional football has shown; 1) technical demands have significantly increased (Barnes et al., 2014), 2) a positive association between greater ball possession and successful results (Liu et al., 2016), and 3) players from successful teams complete more technical actions (Rampinini et al., 2009). Therefore, from...
Article
Theoretical accounts of the anxiety and motor performance relationship cite disruptions to attention as a critical mediating factor. The aims of this paper were to (1) systematically review published research examining attentional mechanisms underpinning the anxiety–performance relationship in targeting skills, and (2) subsequently discuss these fi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: The ultimate purpose of a player development pathway is to realise the most effective methods to support young individuals to maximise their potential (MacNamara & Collins, 2015). Within a modern football academy setting, the essential developmental characteristics are often termed environmental, psychological, sociological, physiolog...
Article
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the association between conscious monitoring and control of movements (i.e., movement specific reinvestment) and visuo-motor control during walking by older adults. Method: The Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS; Masters, Eves, & Maxwell, 2005) was administered to ninety-two community-dwel...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cognitive training (CT) aims to develop a range of skills, like attention and decision-making, through targeted training of core cognitive functions. While CT can target context specific skills, like movement anticipation, much CT is domain general, focusing on core abilities (e.g., selective attention) for transfer to a range of real-w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Talent identification in elite youth football can be defined as the process of recognising players with the potential to achieve senior professional status (Williams & Reilly, 2000). Meylan et al. (2010) state how a one-dimensional approach whilst examining talent in an academy setting can produce inaccurate assumptions, through eventual expertise...
Article
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Optimum levels of attentional control are essential to prevent athletes from experiencing performance breakdowns under pressure. The current study explored whether training attentional control using the adaptive dual n-back paradigm, designed to directly target processing efficiency of the main executive functions of working memory (WM), would resu...
Chapter
The current study sought to explore attentional mechanisms underpinning visuomotor performance degradation following acute exercise. Ten experienced basketball players took free throws while wearing mobile eye tracking glasses, before and after performing a bout of cycling exercise. Shooting accuracy was measured using a 6-point scoring system, and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: Home environment is important for academy football players to facilitate the development of key psychological skills. However, its impact on excelling in a football academy is unknown. Consequently, the objective of this study was to investigate the implications of parental socio-economic classification, financial risk, and psychologica...
Article
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Background Observational learning plays an important role in surgical skills training, following the traditional model of learning from expertise. Recent findings have, however, highlighted the benefit of observing not only expert performance but also error-strewn performance. The aim of this study was to determine which model (novice vs. expert) w...
Article
Full-text available
Support for the proposition that the Quiet Eye (QE) duration reflects a period of response programming (including task parameterisation) has come from research showing that an increase in task difficulty is associated with increases in QE duration. Here, we build on previous research by manipulating three elements of task difficulty that correspond...
Article
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In three experiments, we explored the use of deceptive gaze in soccer penalty takers using eye-tracking equipment. In Experiment 1, players competed against a goalkeeper while taking unconstrained shots. Results indicated that when players used deception (looking to the opposite side to which they shot) they extended the duration of their final aim...
Article
This study aimed to examine the relationship between conscious control of movements, as defined by the Theory of Reinvestment (Masters & Maxwell, 2008; Masters, Polman, & Hammond, 1993), and both traditional and complexity-based COP measures. Fifty-three young adults (mean age=20.93±2.53years), 39 older adults with a history of falling (mean age=69...
Chapter
Full-text available
While the experience of flow is often described in attentional terms—focused concentration or task absorption—specific cognitive mechanisms have received limited interest. We propose that an attentional explanation provides the best way to advance theoretical models and produce practical applications, as well as providing potential solutions to cor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Elite youth football players can be differentiated from their non-elite counterparts by their speed of thought through perceptual-cognitive expertise (PCE; Ward & Williams, 2003), and speed of feet through sprint ability (Vaeyens et al., 2006). However, the degree to which both are required to excel in a football Academy is unknown. T...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives: This study examined the effects of arousal reappraisal on cardiovascular responses, demand and resource evaluations, self-confidence, performance and attention under pressurized conditions. A recent study by Moore et al. [2015. Reappraising threat: How to optimize performance under pressure. Journal of Sport and Exercise...