Training of efficient oculomotor strategies enhances skill acquisition

K.L. Shapiro, J.E. Raymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the hypothesis that efficient oculomotor behaviours can be acquired through practice on a series of simple tasks and can be transferred subsequently to a complex visuomotor task, such as a video game. Each of two groups of subjects were exposed to a different set of simple tasks, or drills. One group, the efficient eye movement experimental group, received training designed to minimize eye movements and optimize scan path behaviours, whereas a second group of subjects, the inefficient eye movement experimental group, received training designed to increase the frequency of eye movements. Oculomotor training was interspersed with practice on the video game. Performance of these two experimental groups in the video game was compared to a control group playing the video game but receiving no specific training and matched for total time in the experiment. The group receiving efficient oculomotor training exhibited significantly superior performance in the video game and fewer foveations than either the inefficient or control groups, which did not differ from each other. Overall there was a significant inverse correlation between the number of foveations in the game and game score. The results of this study are discussed in terms of their implications for the importance of oculomotor training in the acquisition of any complex perceptual motor task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-242
Number of pages26
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1989


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