Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 12, pp 3221–3231 | Cite as

Rapid identification of sound direction in blind footballers

  • Takumi MiedaEmail author
  • Masahiro Kokubu
  • Mayumi Saito
Research Article


Earlier studies have demonstrated that blind footballers are more accurate in identifying sound direction with less front–back confusion than sighted and blind non-football playing individuals. However, it is unknown whether blind footballers are faster than sighted footballers and nonathletes in identifying sound direction using auditory cues. Here, the present study aimed to investigate the auditory reaction times (RTs) and response accuracy of blind footballers during auditory RT tasks, including the identification of sound direction. Participants executed goal-directed stepping towards the loudspeaker as quickly and accurately as possible after identifying the sound direction. Simple, two-choice, and four-choice auditory RT tasks were completed. The results revealed that blind footballers had shorter RTs than sighted footballers in the choice RT tasks, but not in the simple RT task. These findings suggest that blind footballers are faster in identifying sound direction based on auditory cues, which is an essential perceptual-cognitive skill specific to blind football.


Blind football Reaction time Sound localization Auditory cues Information processing 



This study was supported, in part, by a grant from the Advanced Research Initiative for Human High Performance (ARIHHP), University of Tsukuba. This study was also supported by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) [Grant Number 17KT0133].


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Comprehensive Human SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Sport SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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