Perceiving movement patterns: Implications for skill evaluation, correction and development

G. Giblin, D. Farrow, Machar Reid, K.A. Ball, A.B. Abernethy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Skill practitioners such as coaches, judges, and rehabilitation specialists rely heavily on the visual observation of movement to analyse performance, concomitantly performers of movement rely heavily on kinaesthetic sensitivity to produce movements of desired precision. The observation of movement errors (by coaches or therapists) and the correction of movement errors (by performers or patients) depend on fundamentally different perceptual systems that may differ in their sensitivity, units of control and trainability. This paper first examines the skill of perceiving fundamental movement characteristics and patterns (i.e., movement kinematics) by reviewing sport expertise literature that has investigated the capabilities of both expert performers and expert observers. Important expertise related differences in visual perceptual skill are discussed with a focus on perceptual and motor contributions to perceptual skill. Theories related to the perception of others movement patterns such as common coding are reviewed with a focus on implications for skill practitioners. Limitations in the current visual observation literature are considered, in particular the need to more directly examine the perceptual capabilities of skill practitioners to reliably differentiate changes in kinematics. The critical parallel issue of the kinaesthetic sensitivity of the patient or athlete is also reviewed, highlighting the need to know the magnitude of the differences between visual and kinaesthetic sensitivities for changes in movement kinematics in order to understand some of the challenges involved in matching detection of movement pattern errors to correction of these errors. Future research directions are discussed; particularly key methodological issues which may help directly establish perceptual sensitivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-17
    JournalRICYDE. Revista internacional de ciencias del deporte
    Issue number39
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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