Visual span and change detection in soccer: an expertise study

R. Canal Bruland, S. Lotz, N. Hagemann, J. Schorer, B. Strauss

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    There is evidence to suggest that sports experts are able to extract more perceptual information from a single fixation than novices when exposed to meaningful tasks that are specific to their field of expertise. In particular, Reingold et al. (2001) showed that chess experts use a larger visual span including fewer fixations when compared to their less skilled counterparts. The aim of the present study was to examine whether also in a more complex environment, namely soccer, skilled players use a larger visual span and fewer fixations than less skilled players when attempting to recognise players' positions. To this end, we combined the gaze-contingent window technique with the change detection paradigm. Results seem to suggest that skilled soccer players do not use a larger visual span than less skilled players. However, skilled soccer players showed significantly fewer fixations of longer duration than their less skilled counterparts, supporting the notion that experts may extract more information from a single glance. © 2011 Psychology Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)302-310
    JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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