Visual search strategy, selective attention, and expertise in soccer

WILLIAMS, A.M. and DAVIDS, Keith (1998). Visual search strategy, selective attention, and expertise in soccer. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 69 (2), 111-128.

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This research examined the relationship between visual search strategy, selective attention, and expertise in soccer. Experienced (n = 12) and less experienced (n = 12) soccer players moved in response to filmed offensive sequences. Experiment 1 examined differences in search strategy between the two groups, using an eye movement registration system. Experienced players demonstrated superior anticipation in 3-on-3 and 1-on-1 soccer simulations. There were no differences in search strategy in 3-on-3 situations. In 1-on-1 simulations, the experienced players had a higher search rate, involving more fixations of shorter duration, and fixated for longer on the hip region, indicating that this area was important in anticipating an opponent's movements. Experiment 2 examined the relationship between visual fixation and selective attention, using a spatial occlusion approach. In 3-on-3 situations, masking information "pick up" from areas other than the ball or ball passer had a more detrimental effect on the experienced players' performances, suggesting differences in selective attention. In 1-on-1 situations, occluding an oncoming dribbler's head and shoulders, hips, or lower leg and ball region did not affect the experienced players' performances more than the less experienced group. The disparities in search strategy observed in Experiment 1 did not directly relate to differences in information extraction. Experiment 3 used concurrent verbal reports to indicate where participants extracted information from while viewing 3-on-3 sequences. Experienced players spent less time attending to the ball or ball passer and more time on other areas of the display. Findings highlight the advantages of integrating eye movements with more direct measures of selective attention.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 111-128
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 12:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 17:45

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