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Erin Grand, Michael Cinelli, Pamela Bryden; Effect of walking, running, and an end-task on object circumvention direction in soccer players and non-athletes. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):478. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.478.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Object avoidance strategies are dictated by the layout of the environment. Little research has examined obstacle avoidance at varying speeds and with the inclusion of an end-task. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of sport-specific training, locomotion speed, and an end-task on single obstacle circumvention direction. Participants (varsity soccer players, n=10 and gender matched non-athletes, n=10) travelled along a 13m pathway towards a goal marked on the floor and avoided a single obstacle placed in one of three medio-lateral locations: middle, 20cm left of middle (left), and 20cm right of middle (right). Participants completed four trials per obstacle location during four conditions: 1) walking; 2) running; 3) walking with an end-task (walk+kick); and 4) running with an end-task (run+kick). During the end-task conditions, a soccer ball was placed on the goal and was kicked at the wall with the inside of either foot. Results revealed that soccer players and non-athletes both avoided the obstacle toward the side that afforded more space and circumvented to the right more frequently when the obstacle was in the middle location. During the walk+kick condition, non-athletes avoided the obstacle to the right more often than soccer players (p<0.05) while during the run+kick condition both groups avoided to the right more often, regardless of obstacle location. It appears soccer players’ direction of circumvention was most affected by the inclusion of an end-task and speed increase. When soccer players moved at speeds different from training, environmental cues dictated the direction of avoidance rather than the end-task. When performing faster, more familiar speeds, soccer players used end-state body orientation for kicking to dictate the direction of avoidance. Conversely, non-athletes performed uniformly across the end-task conditions, indicating that neither changes in approach speed, nor an end-task, have an effect on avoidance direction for this cohort.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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