Comparing Visual Search Behavior among the Expert and Near-Expert Players in Basketball Jump Shots; An Ex Post Facto Study

Document Type : Original Articles


1 PhD Student, Department of Cognitive Sciences and Behavior, School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Cognitive Sciences and Behavior, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Cognitive Sciences and Behavior, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: One of the subcategories of studies about expertise is the study of visual skills involved in the performance of the expertise. Many researchers have tried to offer different solutions by comparing these skills among expert and near-expert players. The current study aimed to compare visual search behavior in skilled and near-skilled players at basketball jump shot.Materials and Methods: The participants were basketball players who were divided to skilled and near-skilled ones based on the years of playing and the league they play in. To record and collect research data, sensomotoric instruments (SMI) eye tracking glasses with 60 Hz sample rate were used. All participants performed some jump shot and data related with gaze behavior (number of fixations and fixation duration) were collected and compared using independent t test.Results: There was a significant different in number of fixations (P = 0.040) and no significant different in fixation duration between skilled and near-skilled participants.Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, it concluded that gaze behavior can be one of the distinguishing factors of different skill levels, which focus on it can help to improve the expertise performance in sport by identifying more important and effective factors in training.


  1. Williams AM, Janelle CM, Davids K. Constraints on the search for visual information in sport. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 2004; 2(3): 301-18.
  2. Abernethy B, Russell DG. Expert-novice differences in an applied selective attention task. Journal of Sport Psychology 1987; 9(4): 326-45.
  3. Abdoli B, Namazizadeh M, Moeini Rad S. Comparison of anticipation skills and visual search behaviors of skilled and novice basketball players in different positions attack (1 on 1,3 on 3). Motor Behavior 2015; 7(19): 15-32. [In Persian].
  4. Willams AM, Hodges NJ, North JS, Barton G. Perceiving patterns of play in dynamic sport tasks: investigating the essential information underlying skilled performance. Perception 2006; 35(3): 317-32.
  5. Williams AM, Davids K. Visual search strategy, selective attention, and expertise in soccer. Res Q Exerc Sport 1998; 69(2): 111-28.
  6. Helsen W, Pauwels JM. A cognitive approach to visual search in sport. In: Brogan D, Gale A, Carr K, editors. Visual search. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor and Francis; 1993. , p. 379-88.
  7. Savelsbergh GJ, van der Kamp J, Williams AM, Ward P. Anticipation and visual search behaviour in expert soccer goalkeepers. Ergonomics 2005; 48(11-14): 1686-97.
  8. Ericsson KA, Delaney PF. Long-term working memory as an alternative to capacity models of working memory in everyday skilled performance. In: Miyake A, Shah P, editors. Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 1999. p. 257-97.
  9. Vickers JN. Gaze control in basketball foul shooting. In: Findlay JM, Walker R, Kentridge RW, editors. Studies in visual information processing eye movement research. Amsterdam, Netherlands: North-Holland; 1995. vol. 6. p. 527-41.
  10. Heinen T, Vinken M. Monocular and binocular vision in the performance of a complex skill. J Sports Sci Med 2011; 10(3): 520-7.
  11. Klostermann A, Panchuk D, Farrow D. Perception-action coupling in complex game play: Exploring the quiet eye in contested basketball jump shots. J Sports Sci 2018; 36(9): 1054-60.
  12. Wilson MR, Vine SJ, Wood G. The influence of anxiety on visual attentional control in basketball free throw shooting. J Sport Exerc Psychol 2009; 31(2): 152-68.
  13. Causer J, Holmes PS, Williams AM. Quiet eye training in a visuomotor control task. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011; 43(6): 1042-9.
  14. Vine SJ, Moore LJ, Wilson MR. Quiet eye training facilitates competitive putting performance in elite golfers. Front Psychol 2011; 2: 8.
  15. Helsen WF, Starkes JL. A multidimensional approach to skilled perception and performance in sport. Appl Cognit Psychol 1999; 13(1): 1-27.
  16. Wu Y, Zeng Y, Zhang L, Wang S, Wang D, Tan X, et al. The role of visual perception in action anticipation in basketball athletes. Neuroscience 2013; 237: 29-41.
  17. Canal-Bruland R, van der Kamp J, Arkesteijn M, Savelsbergh GJ. Visual search behaviour in skilled field-hockey goalkeepers. International Journal of Sport Psychology 2010; 41(4): 327-39.
  18. Millslagle DG, Smith MS, Hines BB. Visual gaze behavior of near-expert and expert fast pitch softball umpires calling a pitch. J Strength Cond Res 2013; 27(5): 1188-95.
  19. Panchuk D, Vickers JN. Effect of narrowing the base of support on the gait, gaze and quiet eye of elite ballet dancers and controls. Cogn Process 2011; 12(3): 267-76.
  20. Gorman AD, Abernethy B, Farrow D. Evidence of different underlying processes in pattern recall and decision-making. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 2015; 68(9): 1813-31.
  21. Vickers JN. Control of visual attention during the basketball free throw. Am J Sports Med 1996; 24(6 Suppl): S93-S97.
  22. Spitz J, Put K, Wagemans J, Williams AM, Helsen WF. Visual search behaviors of association football referees during assessment of foul play situations. Cogn Res Princ Implic 2016; 1(1): 12.
  23. de Oliveira RF, Oudejans RR, Beek PJ. Late information pick-up is preferred in basketball jump shooting. J Sports Sci 2006; 24(9): 933-40.
  24. Oudejans RR, van de Langenberg RW, Hutter RI. Aiming at a far target under different viewing conditions: visual control in basketball jump shooting. Hum Mov Sci 2002; 21(4): 457-80.
  25. Oudejans RRD. Effects of visual control training on the shooting performance of elite female basketball players. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2012; 7(3): 469-80.
  26. de Oliveira RF, Huys R, Oudejans RR, van de Langenberg R, Beek PJ. Basketball jump shooting is controlled online by vision. Exp Psychol 2007; 54(3): 180-6.