Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training:The Quiet Eye in Act

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Athletes must be able to make split-second decisions under the pressures of competition, but often this vital learning is left to chance. With Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training: The Quiet Eye in Action, readers gain access to the research foundations behind an innovative decision-training system that has been used successfully for years in training athletes.

Certain to become the definitive guide to decision making in sport, this text presents three innovations solidly based in research. The first is the vision-in-action method of recording what athletes actually see when they perform. The second is the quiet eye phenomenon that has attracted considerable media attention. The third innovation is decision training to identify not only how athletes make performance decisions but also how to facilitate visual perception and action to enhance performance. Author Joan Vickers—who discovered the quiet eye and developed the vision-in-action method—takes the next step by integrating all three innovations into a system for helping athletes improve. Together, these advances provide scientific evidence of the effectiveness of perception–action coupling in athletes' training.

Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training: The Quiet Eye in Action is applied to a variety of sports and settings through a three-step decision-training model and seven ready-to-use tools for encouraging athletes to become part of the decision-training process. These tools are research-based concepts that coaches can choose from in order to help train athletes on a specific decision-making task in a simulated competition context. The book also uses these features:

-Informative chapter-opening items provide an overview of the content, and special sections recap the previous chapter and introduce the next.

-Screen captures from the latest in eye-tracking technology show what athletes actually see, where their eyes are directed, and how their gaze differs depending on their ability level.

-Boldfaced key terms and a thorough glossary make it easy to identify key concepts in this emerging field of study.

-Chapter-closing in-action sections provide an opportunity to visit Web sites, read articles, or complete tasks to discover how the concepts learned can be applied.

-Case studies show how coaches and athletes in various sports have successfully used gaze control and decision training.
The book is organized into three parts. Part I introduces the visuomotor system and two processing systems that work together to permit the great range of actions humans perform. Eye-tracking technology is reviewed along with new possibilities for measuring what athletes really see when they perform. In part II, the author presents a unique framework of gaze control. Readers will learn how skilled athletes control the gaze to gain optimal control of their attention and decision making. The quiet eye phenomenon, measurement, and training are also addressed.
Part III describes the three-step decision-training model and its application to how coaches design practice, provide feedback, use questions, and give instructions. Case studies show how others are using the model and the seven decision-training tools.

Decision training is designed to improve athletes' attention, anticipation, concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills, leading to extraordinary long-term gains. The cutting-edge research presented in this book allows readers to appreciate the growing importance of cognition, vision, and decision making; it also shows them how to apply this knowledge to sport training and coaching.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736042567
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/10/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 704,755
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan N. Vickers, PhD, is a researcher who has been conducting research in gaze control and motor behavior in sport since 1980. From her research, she originated the vision-in-action method, discovered the quiet eye, and developed decision training. Vickers' work has been featured on CNN, with Alan Alda on PBS, and in Golf Digest. She is currently a kinesiology professor at the University of Calgary where she also provides decision training as a professional certification.

Dr. Vickers previously wrote Instructional Design for Teaching Physical Activity, is a reviewer for many journals, and is a member of the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) and other professional organizations. An internationally known speaker, she has introduced and taught decision training throughout Canada, and many sport organizations in Canada have adopted the approach.

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Table of Contents


Visuomotor Coordination
Three Categories of Gaze Control
The Quiet Eye
Summary of Theoretical Orientation

Part I. Visual Perception, Cognition, and Action

Chapter 1. Visual System, Motor Control, and the Changing Brain
Visual System
Properties of the Gaze in Space
Neural Centers of the Brain
Changes in the Brain

Chapter 2. Measuring What Athletes See
What Do Athletes See?
Eye-Tracking Technology Today
Visual-Search Paradigm
Vision-in-Action Paradigm
Interpreting Vision-in-Action Data

Chapter 3. Visual Attention and Gaze Control
Information-Processing Time
What Is Visual Attention?
Control of the Gaze and Overt and Covert Attention
Visual Attention and Representation of the World

Part II. Gaze Control and the Quiet Eye in Sport

Chapter 4. Gaze Control Framework
Three Categories of Gaze Control
Four Factors That Affect Gaze Control

Chapter 5. Gaze Control to a Single Fixed Target
Has Targeting Contributed to a Bigger Brain?
Gaze Control in the Basketball Free Throw
Gaze Control in the Jump Shot
Quiet Eye in the Free Throw and Jump Shot
Quiet-Eye Training in Basketball Shooting
Quiet Eye and EEG in Rifle Shooting
Quiet Eye in Biathlon Shooting Under Pressure

Chapter 6. Gaze Control in Abstract-Target and Moving-Target Tasks
Gaze Control in Golf Putting
Quiet-Eye Training in Golf
Quiet Eye in Billiards
Gaze Control in Moving-Target Tasks
Interpreting the Quiet-Eye Period in Targeting Tasks

Chapter 7. Gaze Control in Interceptive Timing Tasks
Interceptive Timing Tasks Defined
Object Recognition: Anticipating Object Flight
Object Tracking: Reading a Moving Object
Object Tracking and Object Control: Hitting Targets in Table Tennis
Object Recognition, Object Tracking, and Object Control
Quiet-Eye Training in the Volleyball Serve Reception
Relationship Between Gaze Control and Verbal Reports
Gaze Control in Ice Hockey Goaltending

Chapter 8. Gaze Control in Tactical Tasks
What Are Tactical Tasks?
Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Tenenbaum's Context and Target Control Model
Klein's Recognition-Primed Model of Decision Making
Gaze Control During Locomotion
Gaze Control During Set and Novel Plays

Part III. Decision Training in Sport

Chapter 9. Decision-Training Model
Four Foundations of Decision Training
Paradox of Modern Motor Learning Research
Three-Step Decision-Training Model
Evidence Showing the Effectiveness of Decision Training

Chapter 10. Designing Practices With a Decision-Training Focus
DT Tool 1: Variable Practice (Smart Variations)
DT Tool 2: Random Practice (Smart Combinations)
Research Support for Variable and Random Practice
Variable and Random Practice in the Sport Setting
Example 1: Decision Training in Badminton Tactics
Example 2: Decision Training in Freestyle Ski Jumping
Example 3: Decision Training in Golf Putting

Chapter 11. Providing Feedback With a Decision-Training Focus
Feedback Defined
DT Tool 3: Bandwidth Feedback
DT Tool 4: Questioning
Research Support for Bandwidth Feedback and Questioning
DT Tool 5: Video Feedback and Self-Regulation
Example 1: Decision Training in Biathlon Skiing
Example 2: Decision Training in Counseling

Chapter 12. Providing Instruction With a Decision-Training Focus
DT Tool 6: Hard-First Instruction and Modeling
Does Modeling Improve Performance?
DT Tool 7: External Focus of Instruction
Example 1: Decision Training in Cycle Racing
Example 2: Decision Training in Speed Skating

Additional Quiet Eye and Decision Training Resources
About the Author

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