In one-handed catching behavior, binocular visual information such as retinal disparity and vergence, as well as monocular depth cues, can be used to control the motor effector’s motion. Typical virtual devices that are equipped with a stereoscopic display provide binocular depth cues by presenting two offset images to each eye, and are increasingly being used in the assessment of perceptual motor skills. The aims of this study were first to demonstrate the effect of stereoscopic display on catching performance by comparing with the effect of monoscopic display in a virtual environment, and second to investigate a relationship between catching performance in a virtual setting and in a real-world setting. In the virtual environment experiment, 12 participants performed a one-handed simulated catching task in an immersive virtual system called CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment). Two display conditions (2D, 3D) by the setting of offset image parameter and 3 speed conditions (low, medium, and fast) for the approaching virtual ball were arranged for visual stimuli. According to analysis of variance, the percentage of correct catches was higher in the 3D condition than in the 2D condition in the medium speed condition. In the real-world experiment, the same participants performed a one-handed actual catching task that almost duplicated the settings of the virtual environment experiment. For the percentage of correct catches, it was shown that the medium speed conditions of the 2D condition and the 3D condition in the virtual environment experiment had significantly positive correlations with the low speed condition in the real-world experiment. These findings imply that the binocular depth cues from stereoscopic display contribute to catching performance, and suggest that the motor skill in real-world settings may be reflected by the catching performance in a virtual environment. Furthermore, the availabilities and limitations of using a virtual environment for catching tasks are argued in terms of system delay and environmental setting.
Two studies were conducted to examine psychological and behavioral effects of adding music and physical contacts to exercise programs. In Study 1,146 college students were divided into four exercise conditions: (1) exercise with music and physical contact (2) exercise with physical contact (3) exercise with music (4) exercise without music and physical contact. The effects of exercise on psychological aspects such as mood, satisfaction with the exercise, and human relationships were compared among the four groups. Results indicated that the pleasure and arousal level of mood state increased after exercise in all four conditions. Moreover, both music and physical contact increased the satisfaction with exercise and the physical contacts promoted human relationships. In Study 2, psychological and behavioral effects of the exercise were compared with almost same exercise but without music and physical contact. The state of anxiety levels and the interpersonal distance and interpersonal behaviors between each subjects and a partner of exercise were investigated in 16 college students before and after exercise. Results indicated that the score of positive affect factor of State-STAI increased after exercise with music and physical contact comparing to exercise without them. Moreover, the effects of exercise on interpersonal relationships, such as perception of interpersonal attraction, shortening of interpersonal distance, and increase of positive interpersonal behavior were significantly higher after exercising in pairs with background music, compared to doing almost the same exercise without music and physical contact. Furthermore, statistically significant correlations were observed between the change of interpersonal distance and the effects such as increase of positive affect and interpersonal behavior. The results of the study suggest the effectiveness of adding music and physical contacts to exercise to improve psychological states and interpersonal interactions of people.
In this study, kotsu (knack) is defined as a physical movement’s main aspect, subjectively judged by an athlete, enabling him or her to perform the movement. This study aimed to develop a model of external and internal changes in athletes during the process of their acquisition of kotsu for their sport, and to investigate the characteristics of psychological changes that occurred during the acquisition of kotsu. In phase I, to develop a model of the kotsu acquisition process, the cases of 20 top athletes from a previous study on kotsu acquisition were analyzed using the Modified Grounded Theory Approach. Results demonstrated the presence of external changes such as “a motive to acquire kotsu,” “training to acquire kotsu,” and “changes in performance,” and also internal changes such as “desire for change,” “clear ideals,” and “psychological changes.” In phase II, interviews were conducted with 3 athletes, retired and active, who had acquired kotsu in the past, and the characteristics of psychological changes accompanying acquisition were examined to further refine the model developed in phase I. Results indicated that there was an association between external and internal changes at each stage of the kotsu acquisition process. Moreover, when athletes acquired kotsu, they underwent psychological changes such as “cultivation of autonomy,” “self-actualization in competitive environments,” and “building a foundation for future challenges after kotsu acquisition.” Thus, the findings of this study have clarified the process of athletes acquiring kotsu in their sport and also demonstrated the presence of psychological changes accompanying the acquisition of kotsu. The experience of acquiring kotsu also appears to be important for athletes’ personality development.
The present study examines the effects of students’ perceptions of the student-coach relationship and their coaches’ feedback on students’ intrinsic motivation in high school athletic clubs. We administered questionnaires on 1,071 high school students (604 males, 467 females) belonging to school athletic clubs. The questionnaire probed the studentsʼ perceptions of the student-coach relationship, their coachsʼ feedback, and the studentsʼ intrinsic motivation. Analysis consisted of the following. First, items concerning the student-coach relationship were used to score closeness/trust; based on these scores, students were divided into groups of high and low levels of closeness/trust with their coaches. Next, analysis of factors in items regarding coaches’ feedback confirmed the following three factors: praise/encouragement, reproach, and absence of feedback.We also performed respective multiple regression analyses of the effects of coaches’ feedback on students’ intrinsic motivation for both groups.In the high closeness/trust group, praise/encouragement and reproach were shown to be positively correlated with intrinsic motivation, while in the low closeness/trust group, a positive correlation was shown only with praise/encouragement. Furthermore, we conducted path analysis to examine how the effects of coaches’ feedback on students’ intrinsic motivation are mediated by the student-coach relationship. This analysis showed that coaches’ feedback affects closeness/trust, which in turn affects intrinsic motivation.