Task-dependent gaze effects in perceptual-cognitive skill research. A case for temporal demands?

Klostermann, André; Hossner, Ernst-Joachim (9 February 2017). Task-dependent gaze effects in perceptual-cognitive skill research. A case for temporal demands? In: 9. SGS Jahrestagung in Zürich. Zürich. 9.-10.02.2017.

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Current research shows that simplified response modes entail severe problems with the results’ external validity questioning the implications of research conducted so far (e.g., Savelsbergh, Williams, van der Kamp, & Ward, 2002). For example, Dicks, Button and Davids (2010) showed that soccer goalkeepers´ gaze behavior is affected by the degree of perception-action coupling, meaning, that goalkeepers looked at the penalty takers’ kinematics especially in experimental conditions requiring simplified response modes instead of actual actions. This finding was explained with specific functional requirements; however, a possible confounder might reside in different timing demands to be present in the different response modes tested by Dicks et al. (2010). Exactly this alternative explanation was tested in the current study and it was expected to find increased tracking of the opponents´ kinematics in test situations with lower timing demands.
Thirty-two sport science students had to verbally predict the outcome of beach-volleyball attacks presented in occluded video scenes in a condition with (TD) and without (nTD) timing demands (counter-balanced order) on a life-sized screen. The participants’ gaze behavior was measured with an integrated mobile eye-tracking system (EyeSeeCam, 220 Hz) and verbal responses were put down in writing. Gaze distribution to five cues (attacker, ball, future attacking position, setter and blocker) was calculated and aggregated as viewing times. The dependent measures were analyzed with repeated-measures ANOVAs and planned t-Tests.
For viewing times, a significant main effect for cue was found (p < .01, ηp2 = .93) with most allocations to the attacker, followed by the ball, the predicted ball-hand contact and least allocations at the setter and block player. Furthermore, a significant cue x condition interactions (ps < .05, ηp2 > .13) was revealed elucidating that, different than expected, increased tracking of the attacker and decreased allocations to the ball were found in the TD when compared to the nTD condition (all ps < .05, all ds > 0.42). Additional analyses of the gaze behavior as a function of response accuracy revealed that allocations at the attacker rather were associated with incorrect and allocations at the future attacking position rather were associated with correct decisions (all ps < .01, all ds > 0.53).
The current results show that task-specific differences in gaze behavior (Dicks et al., 2010) cannot be explained by different timing demands. Instead, the differences in gaze behavior, indeed, seem to rely on different functional requirements for the visual system (vision for perception vs. vision for action, cf. Millner & Goodale, 2008). However, the underlying mechanisms of this distinction remain unclear and further research is required. Furthermore, the analyses of the gaze behavior as a function of response accuracy replicated earlier findings regarding the functionality of the proactive gaze anchoring (Hossner, Klostermann, Kredel, Schläppi-Lienhard, & Vater, 2016). It is speculated that this anchoring supports the peripheral perception of more than one objects for anticipation.

Dicks, M., Button, C., & Davids, K. (2010). Examination of gaze behaviors under in situ and video simulation task constraints reveals differences in information pickup for perception and action. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 706-720.
Hossner, E.-J., Klostermann, A., Kredel, R., Schläppi-Lienhard, O., & Vater, C. (2016). Decision making and gaze strategies in beach volleyball defense: On expertise and the maximization of information. Manuscript in preparation.
Milner, A. D., & Goodale, M. A. (2008). Two visual systems re-viewed. Neuropsychologia, 46, 774-785.
Savelsbergh, G. J., Williams, A. M., Kamp, J. V. D., & Ward, P. (2002). Visual search, anticipation and expertise in soccer goalkeepers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 279-287.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Human Sciences
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Movement and Exercise Science

UniBE Contributor:

Klostermann, André and Hossner, Ernst-Joachim


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment


André Klostermann

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2017 15:22

Last Modified:

31 Mar 2017 15:22

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