Recognizing fencing attacks from auditory and visual information: A comparison between expert fencers and novices

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ObjectiveThe present study investigated the impact of audible and visual information for the prediction of attack movements in fencing, the raddoppio and the fleche.MethodA temporal occlusion paradigm with visually (i.e. soundless videos), auditory (i.e. the audio track of the videos), and audio-visually (i.e. video with audio track) presented attack movements was used to investigate 15 experts’ (5 women; M age = 17.2 years, age range = 15–21) and 17 novices’ (15 women; M age = 23.4 years, age range = 19–30) performance in predicting fencing attacks.ResultsResults showed that the number of correct answers for all stimulus conditions increased for both groups the later a video was occluded. Moreover, experts outperformed novices in all stimulus conditions. Regarding auditory information, results indicated that neither group efficiently integrated the sounds of fencing steps with the visually provided information, however, experts were better able than novices to make use of auditory information if no visual information was provided and to filter out auditory information otherwise.ConclusionFuture research might address the issue to what extent athletes might benefit from training interventions focusing on the use of auditory information.HighlightsTemporal occlusion with visual, acoustic and audiovisual stimuli is applied.Fencers and non-fencers recognize fencing attacks from acoustic information.Fencers outperform non-fencers in all three stimulus conditions.All participants recognize attacks better from visual than acoustic information.Non-fencers perform better with visual than audiovisual information.

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