The influence of quiet eye training and pressure on attention and visuo-motor control

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2011 Mar;136(3):340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.12.008. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an intervention designed to train effective visual attentional control (quiet eye-training) for a far aiming skill, and determine whether such training protected against attentional disruptions associated with performing under pressure. Sixteen novice participants wore a mobile eye-tracker to assess their visual attentional control (quiet eye) during the completion of 520 basketball free throws carried out over 8 days. They first performed 40 pre-test free throws and were randomly allocated into a quiet eye (QE) training or Control group (technical instruction only). Participants then performed 360 free throws during a training period and a further 120 test free throws under conditions designed to manipulate the level of anxiety experienced. The QE trained group maintained more effective visual attentional control and performed significantly better in the pressure test compared to the Control group, providing support for the efficacy of attentional training for visuo-motor skills.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety
  • Attention
  • Basketball
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult