Visual control when aiming at a far target

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1996 Apr;22(2):342-54. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.22.2.342.


Gaze behavior of elite basketball athletes was determined as they performed 10 accurate and 10 inaccurate free throws (FTs) to a regulation basket wearing an eye tracker that permitted normal accuracy. Experts (mean FT = 78%) differed significantly from near experts (mean FT = 56%) in having a longer fixation on the target combined with an earlier fixation offset during the shooting action. These results, which depart from current models of near aiming, are tentatively explained using a location-suppression hypothesis. During the early phases of the aiming action, a fixation of long duration is needed on a specific target location. As the aiming action is then performed, vision appears to be a liability and is suppressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Basketball / psychology*
  • Distance Perception
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Orientation*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Psychomotor Performance*