Gaze Control During Interceptive Actions With Different Spatiotemporal Demands

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that the sources of information used to guide interceptive actions depend on conflicting spatiotemporal task demands. However, there is a paucity of evidence that shows how information pick-up during interceptive actions is adapted to such conflicting constraints. The present study therefore examined the effects of systematic manipulations of spatiotemporal constraints on performance, timing and gaze in an in situ interceptive action. To this end, expert futsal goalkeepers faced penalty kicks taken from 10 m and 6 m. With the more lenient spatiotemporal constraints (i.e., kicks from 10 m), the goalkeepers saved more kicks, initiated their actions later, and looked longer toward ball relative to the penalty takers’ body. Furthermore, analysis of gaze patterns showed that interindividual variations in information pick-up were related to the unfolding of the penalty taker’s action, revealing a less variable, funnel-like gaze pattern toward the end of the action. These findings are interpreted to reflect that changes in spatiotemporal demands induce the differential use of information for the accurate control of interceptive actions.

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