A psychophysiological account of the quiet eye phenomenon: Novel methods and insights [Powerpoint]
2019-07-22T13:38:10Z (GMT) by
Superior performance in target sports has been associated with a long quiet eye period, defined as a steady final fixation on the target of an action (e.g., the ball in golf putting). Despite extensive evidence showing that experts have a longer quiet eye than novices, scientists debate on the putative mechanisms that confer performance advantage to a long quiet eye. With the aim to stimulate this debate, this presentation discusses novel psychophysiological methods to examine eye movements (through electrooculography, EOG) alongside brain activity (through electroencephalography, EEG) and movement kinematics (through movement sensors). Recent research adopting this multi-measure approach has generated a series of findings that shed light on the function of the quiet eye (Gallicchio, Cooke, & Ring, 2018; Gallicchio & Ring, 2018). First, expertise and performance effects emerged mostly for the quiet eye component beginning after movement initiation, hence downplaying the role of cognitive mechanisms related to movement planning. Second, visual processing decreased before and during movement execution, thereby challenging the dominant interpretation of the quiet eye as a period of enhanced visual attention to the target. Finally, the finding that post-movement initiation quiet eye duration was strongly and positively associated with movement duration suggests that the quiet eye-performance effect may be due to a stable posture, ensuring a steady visual reference for a smooth execution, hence better performance. These findings encourage a radical re-interpretation of the quiet eye as postural-kinematic phenomenon and, moreover, demonstrate the utility of adopting a psychophysiological approach in the study of the quiet eye.