Attention Demands of Spatially Locating Position of a Ball in Flight
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This study assessed the relative attention demands of an "open skill", that of spatially locating position of a ball in flight, using the dual task technique. 7 right-handed male university students stood behind a large Plexiglas screen and spatially matched a ball projected over a distance of 20 feet. After 1-sec. flight time the ball contacted the Plexiglas. A secondary task required response to an auditory stimulus, designed to probe ball flight at 700, 800, or 900 msec. Both vocal and manual responses to the secondary probe were recorded. No significant correlations were noted between radial error and probe RT for either manual or vocal responses. Subjects did not trade off between tasks. Radial error across all probe positions, including catch trials, showed no significant differences. Three factor analyses of variance for manual and vocal probe types showed that more attention was devoted to monitoring the ball as it neared the screen.
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