Consciousness and choking in visually-guided actions

Koedijker, Johannes; Mann, David L. (2015). Consciousness and choking in visually-guided actions. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 14(2), pp. 333-348. Springer Netherlands 10.1007/s11097-014-9398-3

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Choking under pressure describes the phenomenon of people performing well below their expected standard under circumstances where optimal performance is crucial. One of the prevailing explanations for choking is that pressure increases the conscious attention to the underlying processes of the performer's task execution, thereby disrupting what would normally be a relatively automatic process. However, research on choking has focused mainly on the influence of pressure on motor performance, typically overlooking how it might alter the way that vision is controlled when performing these motor actions. In this article we ask whether the visual component of expert motor-skill execution is susceptible to choking much like the motor component is thought to be. To do so, we draw heavily on empirical findings from studies of sporting expertise, in particular focussing on the role of gaze in three types of visually-guided actions: interceptive actions, aiming tasks, and anticipatory skill. For each of these skills we evaluate the nature of the expert advantage, discuss the role of consciousness in their control, examine the potential impact of pressure on task performance, and consider interventions designed to reduce the likelihood of choking when performing these tasks

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Movement and Exercise Science

UniBE Contributor:

Koedijker, Johannes


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Springer Netherlands




André Klostermann

Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2015 12:22

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2017 08:42

Publisher DOI:





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