Strobe training improves eye-hand coordination

Stroboscopic visual training (SVT) has been shown to improve cognitive skills and perceptual performance by carrying out events under situations of intermittent vision. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an SVT training period could improve the eye–hand coordination (EHC) performance on a practiced task for a group of sports participants. Sixty-two male participants were randomly assigned to either a strobe group (SG n=31), or control group (CG n=31). The method employed a Sport Vision Trainer™ 80 sensor pad to measure the mean speed of reaction time of participants extinguishing randomly illuminated lights on an electronic board. One trial consists of 20 lights. One week following pre-testing on the Sport Vision Trainer™ (4×6 trials), a pre-training baseline assessment of 1×6 trials was conducted to measure their abilities to complete the EHC task. Four×six trials (480 lights) were then completed in the training phase with the CG continuing to train with unimpaired vision, whilst the SG wore Nike Vapor Strobe® (controlled rate of 100 ms visible to 150 ms opaque). Post-training assessments were administered immediately, 10 min and 10 days after SVT each consisting of six trials (120 lights). A visual search (VS) non-trained transfer test was also administered pre-SVT and after 10 days. This involved an e-prime program using a laptop where participants had to identify a target stimulus located amongst distractor stimuli. Treatment effects were observed at each time point. Baseline performance was significantly related to retention performance immediately (p=.003), 10-min post (p=.001) and 10 days post-training (p=.002). No significant differences were found for the VS test. An acute SVT exposure using stroboscopic goggles significantly improved EHC performance. Future research should explore these mechanisms further using different exposure, frequencies, and focused identification of training drills as a complementary intervention for individual or team sports.

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