Spatial Contextual Cueing, Assessed in a Computerized Task, Is Not a Limiting Factor for Expert Performance in the Domain of Team Sports or Action Video Game Playing
In two reaction time experiments, we investigated if handball and action video game players show improved implicit learning of repeated spatial configurations for efficient search guidance in comparison to a control group without sport or video game proficiency. To this end, we used both a sport-specific pseudo 3-D contextual cueing task and the original contextual cueing paradigm (Chun and Jiang 36, 28-71, 1998). In this visual search paradigm, a target element has to be searched in a distractor-filled display. A typical block of trials consisted of one half of displays that were repeatedly presented in subsequent blocks, while the other half of displays was always randomly generated. In numerous studies with this paradigm, it has been found that search becomes more efficient in repeated displays, even though participants are often unaware of these repetitions (Chun 4, 170-178, 2000). Contextual cueing was present in all groups. Thus, all groups showed incidental learning of repeated displays. Contrary to our hypothesis, handball and action video game players did not differ in the strength of contextual cueing from the control group, although these groups had overall faster search times in the sport-specific displays of experiment 1. To conclude, our data yield no evidence for superior context-learning skills in athletes or action video game players.
KeywordsAttention Contextual cueing Expertise Team sports Action video game playing
This work was supported by Florian Baumgartner and Daniel Kottke by helpful statistical advice and discussions.
We would also like to thank the Sportclub Magdeburg for the opportunity to study elite athletes, the coaches for their support, and the athletes for their willingness to participate in the study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- Abernethy, B. (1987). Selective attention in fast ball sports: II: expert-novice differences. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(4), 7–16.Google Scholar
- Alves, H., Voss, M. W., Boot, W. R., Deslandes, A., Cossich, V., Salles, J. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2013). Perceptual-cognitive expertise in elite volleyball players. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(36), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Bejjanki, V. R., Zhang, R., Li, R., Green, C. S., Lu, Z. L., & Bavelier, D. (2014). Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(47), 16961–16966.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Chaddock, L., Neider, M. B., Voss, M. W., Gaspar, J. G., & Kramer, A. F. (2011). Do athletes excel at everyday tasks? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(10), 1920–1926.Google Scholar
- Nougier, V., Ripoll, H., & Stein, J.-F. (1989). Orienting of attention in highly-skilled athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 20, 205–223.Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2007). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
- Schmidt, A., Geringswald, F., Sharifian, F., & Pollmann, S. (2018). Not scene learning, but attentional processing is superior in team sport athletes and action video game players. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/353953.
- Simon, H. A., & Chase, W. G. (1973). Skill in chess. American Scientist, 61, 394–403.Google Scholar
- Simons, D. J., & Chabris, C. F. (2010). The invisible gorilla: how our intuitions deceive us [abstract]. New York: Crown Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Starkes, J. L., & Ericsson, K. A. (Eds.) (2003). Expert performance in sports: advances in research on sport expertise. Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
- Thomas, J. R., Gallagher, J., & Lowry, K. (2003). Developing motor and sport expertise: meta-analytic findings. In Communication to the Conference North American Society of Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Savannah, GA. In J. G. Tenenbaum & R. C. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (pp. 161–178). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..Google Scholar