Considerations for the study of individual differences in gaze control during expert visual anticipation: an exploratory study

Harry Ramsey*, Chris Button, Keith Davids, Guillaume Hacques, Ludovic Seifert, Matt Dicks

*Corresponding author for this work

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Recent perspectives for the study of perceptual-motor expertise have highlighted the importance for considering variability in gaze behaviour. The present paper explores the prevalence of variability in gaze behaviour in an anticipation task through examining goalkeepers gaze behaviours when saving soccer penalty kicks, with a primary focus on offering new considerations for the study of variability in gaze behaviour. A subset of data from five goalkeepers in the previously published article of Dicks et al. (2010) were reanalysed, with a focus on ten successful penalty saves for each goalkeeper. As the aim was to conduct exploratory analyses of individual differences in goalkeeping performance, data were not averaged across participants and instead intra- and inter-individual differences are described using descriptive statistics. The main observation was that variation in the goalkeepers’ gaze behaviours existed and were evident both between and within individuals, specifically with regards to quiet eye duration but also for percentage viewing time and visual search patterns. However, QE location appeared to represent the only invariant gaze measure with the location being on the ball for the majority of trials. The current exploratory analysis suggested that experienced goalkeepers did not converge on the same gaze patterns during successful anticipation performance. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to extant gaze behaviour literature before considering implications for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalMovement and Sports Sciences
Early online date3 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • ES/P000673


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