The purpose of this study was to investigate, in an experimental setting, the relation between the skill level and the sensitivity involved in movement observation. We selected a ball-throwing task since there is a significant difference in the required skill level for the movement involved in the task among individuals even though such a movement is ordinarily seen in various sports. In experiment 1, 40 participants attempted to throw a ball and were divided into 2 groups on the basis of the temporal phase difference between the elbow and wrist joints during the task of throwing the ball. Group A; skilled: An increase in the joint angular velocity for extension at the elbow is observed earlier than that in the wrist. Group B; unskilled: The relation of Group A is reversed. In experiment 2, a movie comprising 15 sets of stick pictures was created by systematic manipulation of the temporal phase difference on the basis of a skilled thrower's movement referred to as the model, and 20 participants in the 2 groups observed the stick picture movie starring the model and the created movie; the set number at which they detected the differences in their movements was recorded. As a result, Group A participants detected it significantly earlier than Group B participants (p<0.001). This result indicates that the sensitivity in the movement observation of high-skilled participants is significantly higher than that in low-skilled participants.
This study examined the effectiveness of resting techniques for maintaining the optimal condition for surveillance. Lifesavers (n=15) participated in a pilot study that investigated the psychophysiological conditions for the best and the worst surveillance during lifesaving. Results indicated that psycho-physiological problems related to performance were sleepiness, and fatigue due to stiffness in the neck and the shoulders. Based on the results, three types of low intensity exercises: ball exercises, walking and static stretching were devised to recover arousal level and from fatigue. In an experiment devised to assess the effects of the exercises, participating lifesavers (n=13) performed a computer simulated surveillance task. The three types of exercises, or quiet sitting as the control condition, were practiced during a one-minute rest after the surveillance task. Then, the effects of these resting techniques on three dimensions of recovery; (a) recovery of arousal level, (b) recovery from fatigue and (c) maintenance of vigilance were respectively compared using the following indices: (1) Self-Rating Scale / Peripheral Skin Temperature / Two Dimensional Mood Scale, (2) Self-Rating Scale / Critical Fusion Frequency, (3) Grid Exercise. Results indicated that ball exercises and walking as a ballistic exercise were effective for the recovery of arousal level. Moreover, ball exercises and static stretching to reduce stiffness were effective for recovery from fatigue. Furthermore, ball exercises were more effective than other techniques for maintaining vigilance. It is concluded that low intensity exercises with a ball is the most effective method of maintaining the vigilance and psycho-physiological readiness for surveillance.
The purpose of this study was to investigate causal relationships reciprocally between sport experience in athletic clubs and life skills acquisition, through a three-wave panel study conducted at three-month intervals. Structural equation modeling on the cross-lagged effect model was conducted using panel data obtained from 173 students (93 males and 80 females) who completed questionnaires on sport experience in university athletic clubs (on self-disclosure, daily life guidance from leaders, challenge / achievement, support from others, and effort / endurance), and their level of acquisition of life skills (intrapersonal and interpersonal skills). The results suggested that (1) self-disclosure, support from others, and effort / endurance each had positive causal effects on interpersonal skills acquisition, (2) intrapersonal and interpersonal skills each had positive causal effects on self-disclosure and challenge/achievement experience, (3) there was no causal relationship between daily life guidance from leaders and life skills, and (4) a positive cycle of causality existed between self-disclosure and interpersonal skills. In conclusion, this longitudinal research supported previous studies in sport psychology which supposed that sport experience promotes life skills acquisition, and suggested that a reciprocal causal relationship existed between sport experience in athletic clubs and life skills.
The purpose of this study was to compare the visual search behaviors of experienced basketball players with those of novices as they anticipated the success of a free throw. In basketball, the accurate judgment of the result of a free throw at an early time is an important factor in both performing the next play for the players and in deciding team tactics for coaches. The subjects were twelve experienced male basketball players and twelve novice counterparts. The task was to anticipate the success of free throws by responding verbally with ‘IN’ , ‘OUT’ or ‘Uncertain’ while viewing randomized successful / unsuccessful video-based models of free throws. The video was captured from a position to the side of the shooter's shooting arm and perpendicular to the plane of the intended motion of the ball. The stimuli were temporally occluded after the ball released the shooter's hand and before the ball reached the goal. In addition, the participants' visual search behaviors were acquired by using an eye movement tracking system. The results indicated that experienced players were able to anticipate a successful free throw earlier and more accurately than could the novices. Experienced players had an effective strategy to anticipate the result of free throws that was based on not only the ball's trajectory but also the use of shooter's coordinated motions as advanced cues for predicting the success of a free throw before the release of the ball. The experienced players' viewing points were distributed on the shooter's lower body until the execution phase and then on the shooter's shooting arms before ball release. This effective visual search behavior is therefore one of the most important factors in improving accurate judgment at an early time.
The current special issue consists of three review articles, along with an introductory review. The three review articles examine the issues of non-consciousness in human perceptual-motor control and behavior in different disciplinary areas, such as perceptual-motor control, emotional neuroscience, and socio-psychology. The introductory review article first examines previous fundamental literature on non-consciousness in three different areas specific to perceptual-motor control, emotional autonomic responses and behavior, and cognitive and socio-psychological behavior. Following this, several issues essential to a discussion on non-consciousness in human perceptual-motor control and behavior are examined. One issue concerns temporal characteristics indicating that cortical activity lasting around 0.5 s is necessary to produce perceptual consciousness of a given stimulus. Another issue concerns spatial characteristics indicating that motor responses are unaffected when responding to a visual illusion. Finally, MacLean's (1994) view of the brain -that is, the notion of a hierarchy of three brains in one- and the Koch-Greenfield controversy (2009) concerning the issue of how consciousness is produced are briefly examined in line with the notion of consciousness and non-consciousness in the brain.
It is a well-known fact that the control of our body movements is processed implicitly. Each movement we make activates various sensory receptors, and these signals can elicit motor reactions without intentional control of the individual. These smart, effortless systems for processing of sensorimotor information seem to underpin the generation of quick and diverse motor patterns to adapt to fluctuations of the external / internal environments. Much debate has arisen on how to account for the interactions between the system and volition of movement. Over the past two decades, many hidden aspects of implicit / automatic sensorimotor behavior and the underlying neural substrate have been clarified by neurophysiological and neuropsychological studies. The findings of these studies provide a good insight into how to clarify and / or refine the relationships among intention of movement, sensory information, and actual motor patters generated by the individual. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of implicit visuomotor controls and may lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of motor control in sports.
It has been suggested that regular physical exercise is beneficial to not only physiological adaptation, but also psychological health through stress reduction, antidepressant / anxiolytic properties and improvement in mood. However, since exercise regimens have varied widely across experiments, the optimal form, intensity and duration of exertion for producing the maximal benefits of exercise have yet to be established. Recent neuroscience studies have shown that physical exercise could have a positive impact on the brain, raising the hypothesis that the beneficial effects of physical exercise on psychological health are due to morphological and functional adaptation in the brain, rather than physiological adaptation to physical exercise. For example, it has been shown that physical exercise results in increased neurogenesis or expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor as well as improved cognitive abilities or reduced stress-induced depressive behavior. Although evidence of the neural and behavioral benefits of physical exercise is accumulating, the influences of different regimens of physical exercise on the brain and behavior remain unclear. This issue aims to outline the effects of physical exercise on pathological conditions with a focus on mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, and consider the neural mechanisms of the antidepressant / anxiolytic effects of physical exercise.
Previous social psychological research traditionally assumed that consciousness is a key determinant of human behavior. Contrary to this notion, the present article outlines empirical findings from the automaticity research suggesting that many of the higher order psychological processes responsible for complex human behavior operate unconsciously. The present article also discusses the possibility of integrating social psychology and sports science. In the recent years, sports have been a focus of social scientists as a fruitful opportunity for investigating ecological behavioral data generated in a controlled environment. Implications of such findings for understanding the mechanisms behind human behavior are discussed.