Effects of Stroboscopic Visual Training on Visual Attention, Motion Perception, and Catching Performance

  • Wilkins L
  • Gray R
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Summary .— It has been shown recently that stroboscopic visual training can improve visual-perceptual abilities, such as central fi eld motion sensitivity and anticipatory timing. Such training should also improve a sports skill that relies on these perceptual abilities, namely ball catching. Thirty athletes (12 women, 18 men; M age = 22.5 yr., SD = 4.7) were assigned to one of two types of stroboscopic training groups: a variable strobe rate (VSR) group for which the off -time of the glasses was systematically increased (as in previous research) and a constant strobe rate group (CSR) for which the glasses were always set at the shortest off -time. Training involved simple, tennis ball-catching drills (9 × 20 min.) occurring over a 6-wk. period. In pre- and post-training, the participants completed a one-handed ball-catching task and the Useful Field of View (UFOV) and the Motion in Depth Sensitivity (MIDS) tests. Since the CSR condition used in the present study has been shown to have no eff ect on catching performance, it was predicted that the VSR group would show signifi cantly greater improvement pre–post-training. There were no signifi cant diff erences between the CSR and VSR on any of the tests. However, changes in catching performance (total balls caught) pre–post-training were signifi - cantly correlated with changes in scores for the UFOV single-task and MIDS tests. That is, regardless of group, participants whose perceptual-cognitive performance improved in the post-test were signifi cantly more likely to improve their catching performance. This suggests that the perceptual changes observed in previous stro- boscopic training studies may be linked to changes in sports skill performance.

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  • Luke Wilkins

  • Rob Gray

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