Two experiments are reported in which expert and novice gymnasts were required to walk across a balance beam as quickly as possible in various vision conditions. In Experiment 1, experts walked faster than novices in all vision conditions, showing the greatest superiority when vision was completely eliminated. Novices were more dependent on vision and were able to maintain their performance as long as a visual sample was available every 250 ms (i.e., 4-Hz samples). The results of Experiment 2 indicate that differences between expert and novice performers in the no-vision condition were not related to the use of a short-term visual representation of the movement environment. Our movement time findings are problematic for specificity of learning models of skill acquisition. As well, film data collected in Experiment 2 were not consistent with models that propose a transition from closed-loop to open-loop control.
- Motor skill
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience