Non-support for trainability of teammate recognition based on movement perception?

  • Kylie Ann Steel Western Sydney University -
Keywords: biological motion, movement signature, recognition, training, video, water-polo


Accurate decisions are essential for successful performance in visually and temporally constrained sports environments such as water-polo. Visual cues (uniform and facial) can be obscured by other factors such as splash, or partial submersion, thus leading to misclassification of others as teammates and lost scoring affordances. Research suggests that similar to land gait recognition, swimming gait is also distinguishable from temporally occluded visual stimuli, thus allowing teammate recognition. This research demonstrates that while individuals have good perceptual ability it is rarely performed at a 100% rate. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess whether teammate recognition accuracy can be enhanced using a video-based training paradigm and, which factors affect this ability. N=12 females (Mage = 18.75yrs ± 2.5) completed a two-week video training intervention. Statistical analysis demonstrated that participant’s performance didn't change significantly after training (kick: p=0.814; stroke: p=0.939), nor was their ability dependant on experience in water-polo (kick: p=0.141; stroke: p= 0.169), skill level (kick: p=0.715; stroke: p=0.287), or training adherence (kick; p=0.536; stroke p=0.797). While some research suggests that recognition based on biological motion is trainable it was not corroborated in this study and thus requires further investigation as to the mechanisms that contribute to improvement.

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