Quiet Eye Duration, Expertise, And Task Complexity In Near And Far Aiming Tasks

Skilled (n = 12) and less skilled (n = 12) billiards players participated in 2 experiments in which the relationship between quiet eye duration, expertise, and task complexity was examined in a near and a far aiming task. Quiet eye was defined as the final fixation on the target prior to the initiation of movement. In Experiment 1, skilled performers exhibited longer fixations on the target (quiet eye) during the preparation phase of the action than their less skilled counterparts did. Quiet eye duration increased as a function of shot difficulty and was proportionally longer on successful than on unsuccessful shots for both groups of participants. In Experiment 2, participants executed shots under 3 different time-constrained conditions in which quiet eye periods were experimentally manipulated. Shorter quiet eye periods resulted in poorer performance, irrespective of participant skill level. The authors argue that quiet eye duration represents a critical period for movement programming in the aiming response.