Quiet eye studies in sport within the motor accuracy and motor error paradigms


  • Joan N. Vickers Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada - vickers@ucalgary.ca




Expertise, Vision, Gaze, Perception, Cognition, Paradigm shift


This paper reveals new insights that comes from comparing quiet eye (QE) studies within the motor accuracy and motor error paradigms. Motor accuracy is defined by the rules of the sport (e.g,. hits versus misses), while motor error is defined by a behavioral measure, such as how far a ball or other object lands from the target (e.g. radial error). The QE motor accuracy paradigm treats accuracy as an independent variable and determines the QE duration during an equal (or near-equal) number of hits and misses per condition per participant, while the motor error QE paradigm combines hits and misses into one data set and determines the correlation between the QE and motor error, which is used as a proxy for accuracy. QE studies within the motor accuracy paradigm consistently find a longer QE duration is a characteristic of skill, and/or interaction of skill by accuracy. In contrast, QE motor error studies do not analyze or report the relationship between the QE duration and accuracy (although often claimed), and rarely find a significant correlation between the QE duration and error. Evidence is provided showing the absence of significant results in QE motor error studies is due to the low number of accurate trials found in motor error studies due to the inherent complexity of all sport skills. Novices in targeting skills make fewer than 20% of their shots and experts less than 40% (with some exceptions) creating imbalanced data sets that make it difficult, if not impossible, to find significant QE results (or any other neural, perceptual or cognitive variable) related to motor accuracy in sport.


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How to Cite

Vickers, J. N. (2021). Quiet eye studies in sport within the motor accuracy and motor error paradigms. Brazilian Journal of Motor Behavior, 15(5), 372–390. https://doi.org/10.20338/bjmb.v15i5.267



Special issue: 15 years of Brazilian Journal of Motor Behavior