Differential performance of Chinese volleyball athletes and nonathletes on a multiple-object tracking task

Percept Mot Skills. 2009 Dec;109(3):747-56. doi: 10.2466/pms.109.3.747-756.


The difference between athletes and nonathletes on the performance of a multiple-object tracking (MOT) task was examined. Participants were 17 national professional volleyball athletes and 20 age-matched nonathletes who were university students and attended basic volleyball training classes. Across trials, the number of distractors and the color and form of the targets were manipulated. A negative correlation was observed between the number of distractors and participants' reaction time. Further, all participants responded faster when the target color changed during a trial than when it remained consistent. Athletes had faster reaction time than nonathletes independent of the number of distractors or target manipulation. Male athletes also had faster overall reaction time than female athletes. The implications of these findings for athletic training are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Attention*
  • China
  • Color Perception
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception*
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Reaction Time*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Volleyball / psychology*
  • Young Adult