Looking to Learn: The Effects of Visual Guidance on Observational Learning of the Golf Swing

PLoS One. 2016 May 25;11(5):e0155442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155442. eCollection 2016.

Abstract

Skilled performers exhibit more efficient gaze patterns than less-skilled counterparts do and they look more frequently at task-relevant regions than at superfluous ones. We examine whether we may guide novices' gaze towards relevant regions during action observation in order to facilitate their learning of a complex motor skill. In a Pre-test-Post-test examination of changes in their execution of the full golf swing, 21 novices viewed one of three videos at intervention: i) a skilled golfer performing 10 swings (Free Viewing, FV); ii) the same video with transient colour cues superimposed to highlight key features of the setup (Visual Guidance; VG); iii) or a History of Golf video (Control). Participants in the visual guidance group spent significantly more time looking at cued areas than did the other two groups, a phenomenon that persisted after the cues had been removed. Moreover, the visual guidance group improved their swing execution at Post-test and on a Retention test one week later. Our results suggest that visual guidance to cued areas during observational learning of complex motor skills may accelerate acquisition of the skill.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Golf*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.