The dynamic aspects of sports often place heavy demands on visual processing. As such, an important goal for sports training should be to enhance visual abilities. Recent research has suggested that training in a stroboscopic environment, where visual experiences alternate between visible and obscured, may provide a means of improving attentional and visual abilities. The current study explored whether stroboscopic training could impact anticipatory timing—the ability to predict where a moving stimulus will be at a specific point in time.
Anticipatory timing is a critical skill for both sports and non-sports activities, and thus finding training improvements could have broad impacts. Participants completed a pre-training assessment that used a Bassin Anticipation Timer to measure their abilities to accurately predict the timing of a moving visual stimulus. Immediately after this initial assessment, the participants completed training trials, but in one of two conditions. Those in the Control condition proceeded as before with no change. Those in the Strobe condition completed the training trials while wearing specialized eyewear that had lenses that alternated between transparent and opaque (rate of 100ms visible to 150ms opaque). Post-training assessments were administered immediately after training, 10-minutes after training, and 10-days after training. Compared to the Control group, the Strobe group was significantly more accurate immediately after training, was more likely to respond early than to respond late immediately after training and 10 minutes later, and was more consistent in their timing estimates immediately after training and 10 minutes later.