Get Me Out of This Slump! Visual Illusions Improve Sports Performance

Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.43). 03/2012; 23(4):397-9. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611428810
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Dennis R. Proffitt, Oct 17, 2014
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    • "In recent years, there has been increasing interest in interactions between the perception and action systems because, rather than operating in isolation, the two systems have been shown to be highly intertwined both inside the laboratory (Gallivan et al. 2014; Hommel et al. 2001) and outside the laboratory (Taylor et al. 2011; Witt et al. 2012). These studies show that previous action experience with stimuli can influence how those stimuli are later perceived, acted upon, and neurally represented. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated that performance in attention, perception, and memory related tasks are influenced by the distance between the hands and the stimuli (i.e., placing the observer’s hands near or far from the stimuli). To account for existing findings, it has recently been proposed that processing of stimuli near the hands is dominated by the magnocellular visual pathway. The present study tests another potential implication of this hypothesis, whether perceptual grouping is reduced in hand-proximal space. Consistent with previous work on the object-based capture of attention, a benefit for the visual object in the hands-distal condition was observed in the present study. Interestingly, the object-based benefit did not emerge in the hands proximal condition suggesting perceptual grouping is impaired near the hands. This change in perceptual grouping processes provides further support for the hypothesis that visual processing near the hands is subject to increased magnocellular processing.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Experimental Brain Research
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    • "Two visual illusions could potentially play roles here: the Muller-Lyer illusion that has been shown to affect perception of the target distance, and the Ebbinghaus illusion that has been shown to affect perception of the target size. Previous studies have already shown that either illusion separately has effects on the corresponding motor behaviors (van Donkelaar, 1999; Franz et al., 2000, 2001; Glover & Dixon, 2001a, b; Smeets & Brenner, 2006; Witt et al., 2012), but it remains unknown whether these two illusions could be combined to influence the perceived ID, and in turn, affect the performance of Fitts' tapping. The current study is aimed to answer this question. "
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    ABSTRACT: The speed-accuracy trade-off is a fundamental movement problem that has been extensively investigated. It has been established that the speed at which one can move to tap targets depends on how large the targets are and how far they are apart. These spatial properties of the targets can be quantified by the index of difficulty (ID). Two visual illusions are known to affect the perception of target size and movement amplitude: the Ebbinghaus illusion and Muller-Lyer illusion. We created visual images that combined these two visual illusions to manipulate the perceived ID, and then examined people's visual perception of the targets in illusory context as well as their performance in tapping those targets in both discrete and continuous manners. The findings revealed that the combined visual illusions affected the perceived ID similarly in both discrete and continuous judgment conditions. However, the movement outcomes were affected by the combined visual illusions according to the tapping mode. In discrete tapping, the combined visual illusions affected both movement accuracy and movement amplitude such that the effective ID resembled the perceived ID. In continuous tapping, none of the movement outcomes were affected by the combined visual illusions. Participants tapped the targets with higher speed and accuracy in all visual conditions. Based on these findings, we concluded that distinct visual-motor control mechanisms were responsible for execution of discrete and continuous Fitts' tapping. Although discrete tapping relies on allocentric information (object-centered) to plan for action, continuous tapping relies on egocentric information (self-centered) to control for action. The planning-control model for rapid aiming movements is supported.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Psychological Research
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    • "In previous studies, self-efficacy or confidence as a function of visual illusion was not measured (Witt et al., 2012) or did not differ between groups with different perceptions of hole size (Wood et al., 2013). In the present study, selfefficacy during practice was found to be higher in the group with the larger perceived hole size. "
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    ABSTRACT: Witt, Linkenauger, and Proffitt (Psychological Science, 23, 397-399, 2012) demonstrated that golf putting performance was enhanced when the hole was surrounded by small circles, making it look larger, relative to when it was surrounded by large circles, making it look smaller. In the present study, we examined whether practicing putting with small or large surrounding circles would have not only immediate effects on performance, but also longer-lasting effects on motor learning. Two groups of nongolfers practiced putting golf balls to a 10.4-cm circle ("hole") from a distance of 2 m. Small or large circles were projected around the hole during the practice phase. Perception of hole size was affected by the size of the surrounding circles. Also, self-efficacy was higher in the group with the perceived larger hole. One day after practice, participants performed the putting task, but without visual illusions (i.e., a retention test). Putting accuracy in retention was greater for the group that had practiced with the perceived larger hole. These findings suggest that the apparently larger target led to the more effective learning outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
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