Domain-specific and unspecific reaction times in experienced team handball goalkeepers and novices

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In our everyday environments, we are constantly having to adapt our<br />behavior to changing conditions. Hence, processing information is a<br />fundamental cognitive activity, especially the linking together of<br />perceptual and action processes. In this context, expertise research in<br />the sport domain has concentrated on arguing that superior processing<br />performance is driven by an advantage to be found in anticipatory<br />processes (see Williams et al., 2011, for a review). This has resulted<br />in less attention being paid to the benefits coming from basic internal<br />perceptual-motor processing. In general, research on reaction time (RT)<br />indicates that practicing a RT task leads to an increase in processing<br />speed (Mowbray and Rhoades, 1959; Rabbitt and Banerji, 1989). Against<br />this background, the present study examined whether the speed of<br />internal processing is dependent on or independent from domain-specific<br />motor expertise in unpredictable stimulus-response tasks and in a double<br />stimulus-response paradigm. Thirty male participants (15 team handball<br />goalkeepers and 15 novices) performed domain-unspecific simple or choice<br />stimulus-response (CSR) tasks as well as CSR tasks that were<br />domain-specific only for goalkeepers. As expected, results showed<br />significantly faster RTs for goalkeepers on domain-specific tasks,<br />whereas novices' RTs were more frequently excessively long. However,<br />differences between groups in the double stimulus-response paradigm were<br />not significant. It is concluded that the reported expertise advantage<br />might be due to recalling stored perceptual-motor representations for<br />the domain-specific tasks, implying that experience with (practice of) a<br />motor task explicitly enhances the internal processing of other related<br />domain-specific tasks.




Helm, F., Reiser, M., & Munzert, J. (2016). Domain-specific and unspecific reaction times in experienced team handball goalkeepers and novices. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JUN).

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