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A study was conducted to test the role mental representations play in executing a motor skill under different visual conditions that vary in complexity and vividness. High-skill (n = 20) and low-skill (n = 20) soccer players performed a passing task to a 10 and 20 yard (9.14 and 18.29 m, respectively) target under three visual conditions: normal, occluded, and distorted in a counter-balanced order omitting visual feedback. Following each pass, participants provided an estimate of the perceived final ball destination of their previous pass. This estimate was contrasted to the observed performance, which was unknown to the performer. Results revealed that the visual attention conditions and the task complexity affected the motor task of both the high-skill and low-skill participants. High-skill participants, however, performed significantly better than low-skill participants on all tasks. Furthermore, high-skill players were able to estimate performance better than low-skill participants, across all conditions. Findings have major implications on the practice of motor skills under varying visual conditions, because of the role mental representations play under conditions of uncertainty.
Sport, Visual information, Motor task, Mental representations
Date of Defense
February 6, 2009.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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