Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Examination of Gaze Behaviors under in Situ and Video Simulation Task Constraints Reveals Differences in Information Pickup for Perception and Action

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Examination of Gaze Behaviors under in Situ and Video Simulation Task Constraints Reveals Differences in Information Pickup for Perception and Action

Article excerpt

Gaze and movement behaviors of association football goalkeepers were compared under two video simulation conditions (i.e., verbal and joystick movement responses) and three in situ conditions (i.e., verbal, simplified body movement, and interceptive response). The results showed that the goalkeepers spent more time fixating on information from the penalty kick taker's movements than ball location for all perceptual judgment conditions involving limited movement (i.e., verbal responses, joystick movement, and simplified body movement). In contrast, an equivalent amount of time was spent fixating on the penalty taker's relative motions and the ball location for the in situ interception condition, which required the goalkeepers to attempt to make penalty saves. The data suggest that gaze and movement behaviors function differently, depending on the experimental task constraints selected for empirical investigations. These findings highlight the need for research on perceptual-motor behaviors to be conducted in representative experimental conditions to allow appropriate generalization of conclusions to performance environments.

The design of appropriate empirical task constraints is a major issue in experimental psychology (e.g., Brunswik, 1956; Dhami, Hertwig, & Hoffrage, 2004; Gibson, 1979; Hammond & Stewart, 2001; Kareláia & Hogarth, 2008). There is a concern that psychology has largely "neglected the environment" (Dunwoody, 2006, p. 139) in preference for simplified research designs that emphasize experimental control at the risk of jeopardizing generalizability of conclusions (Araújo, Davids, & Passos, 2007; Dhami et al., 2004). Data from recent meta-analyses have revealed differences between laboratory studies and natural experimental settings for several measures of behavior, including perceptual expertise (Mann, Williams, Ward, & Janelle, 2007) and human judgment heuristics (Hogarth & Kareláia, 2007; Kareláia & Hogarth, 2008). Such observations highlight the need to adequately sample environmental constraints in experimental designs to understand functional human behavior. This view has been expressed in a broad spectrum of research contexts, including motor coordination (Davids, Button, Araújo, Renshaw, & Hristovski, 2006), judicial contexts (Bradford & Goodman-Delahunty, 2008), marketing (Fasolo, Hertwig, Huber, & Ludwig, 2009), and medical education (Wigton, 2008).

The importance of studying organism-environment relations was emphasized by Brunswik (1955, 1956) in a comprehensive methodological framework termed representative design. Brunswik (1956) stressed that experimental stimuli should be sampled from the organism's natural environment to be representative of the population of stimuli to which the organism has adapted and to which empiricists wish to generalize findings. Complementary to the view of Brunswik (1956; see Araújo et al., 2007; Dunwoody, 2006; Vicente, 2003), Gibson's (1979) theory of direct perception in ecological psychology was explicit on the importance of studying animal-environment relations while emphasizing the theoretical significance of a reciprocal relationship between perception and action (see also Michaels & Carello, 1981; Warren, 2006). Gibson proposed that human behaviors are predicated on the perception of affordances (i.e., opportunities for action) offered by a set of environmental conditions relative to an organism's bodily dimensions or action capabilities (Oudejans, Michaels, Bakker, & Dolné, 1996; Warren, 1984).

The theories of Brunswik (1956) and Gibson (1979) underline the need to design experimental conditions in which representative stimuli are sampled from an organism's natural environment. A key implication is that experimental tasks should allow participants to produce unrestricted functional movement responses-behaviors that offer the opportunity to generate further prospective information (i.e., perception-action coupling; see Warren, 2006). …

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