Restricted environmental stimulation technique improves human performance: rifle marksmanship

Percept Mot Skills. 1993 Jun;76(3 Pt 1):867-73. doi: 10.2466/pms.1993.76.3.867.


This study controlled for relaxation and guided imagery confounds noted in much previous research on enhancement of human performance using the restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST). Dry flotation REST was used where subjects lay ("floated") on a salt-water-filled bladder in a sound-attenuated, light-free chamber. 9 men and 3 women in a rifle marksmanship training course, exposed to dry-flotation REST, showed significantly higher rifle marksmanship scores than the university students who as matched controls were exposed to relaxation (9 men and 3 women). Further, only the former showed a significant pre- to posttest improvement in scores, which suggests REST's positive effects on marksmanship go beyond the induction of relaxation by hypnosis. The results support hypotheses summarized in 1982 by Barabasz regarding potentiation by REST of internally generated imagery and subsequent improvement observed in a nonREST posttest environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Female
  • Firearms*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Social Environment*