Journal article
Skilled players' and novices' difficulty anticipating left- vs. right-handed opponents' action intentions varies across different points in time

Publication Details
Loffing, F.; Hagemann, N.; Schorer, J.; Baker, J.
Publication year:
Human Movement Science
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A left-handers' performance advantage in interactive sports is assumed to result from their relative rarity compared to right-handers. Part of this advantage may be explained by athletes facing difficulties anticipating left-handers' action intentions, particularly when anticipation is based on kinematic cues available at an early stage of an opponent's movement. Here we tested whether the type of volleyball attack is predicted better against right- vs. left-handed opponents' movements and whether such handedness effects are evident at earlier time points in skilled players than novices. In a video-based experiment volleyball players and novices predicted the type of shot (i.e., smash vs. lob) of left- and right-handed volleyball attacks occluded at six different time points. Overall, right-handed attacks were better anticipated than left-handed attacks, volleyball players outperformed novices, and performance improved in later occlusion conditions. Moreover, in skilled players the handedness effect was most pronounced when attacks were occluded 480 ms prior to hand-ball-contact, whereas in novices it was most evident 240 ms prior to hand-ball-contact. Our findings provide further evidence of the effect of an opponent's handedness on action outcome anticipation and suggest that its occurrence in the course of an opponent's unfolding action likely depends on an observers' domain-specific skill.

Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 12:50

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