The influence of skill and intermittent vision on dynamic balance

Shannon Robertson, Jane Collins, Digby Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Motor skill
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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