Motor skill control and learning in aiming sports: a psychophysiological account of the neural efficiency and quiet eye phenomena

Gallicchio, Germano (2019). Motor skill control and learning in aiming sports: a psychophysiological account of the neural efficiency and quiet eye phenomena. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis aimed to increase our understanding of the psychophysiological correlates of superior motor performance in target sports by providing an integrated account of the models of neural efficiency (Hatfield & Hillman, 2001) and quiet eye (Vickers, 2007). To this end, I conducted a series of four studies adopting a multimeasure approach to record brain activity- using electroencephalography (EEG)- eye movements- using electrooculography (EOG)- and movement kinematics- using motion sensors- in a golf putting task. The findings of these studies led me to propose an integrated neural efficiency-quiet eye model arguing that superior motor performance is achieved through refinement of cortical activity - reflected in regional gating of alpha oscillations- whereby movement-related information processing is promoted and at the same time insulated from other psychomotor processes that are unrelated with,. or detrimental to, fine motor control. The findings of my studies indicate that visual perception is inhibited.during the final stages of preparation for action, and suggest that the quiet eye phenomenon reflects a general psychomotor quiescence that facilitates clean and smooth movements. This thesis demonstrates the utility of psychophysiology in human movement science and builds some methodological and conceptual foundations for interdisciplinary research on the correlates of superior motor performance.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QP Physiology


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