Perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport and its acquisition: Implications for applied cognitive psychology

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Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


We review contemporary research on perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport and consider implications for those working in the field of applied cognitive psychology. We identify the important perceptual-cognitive skills that facilitate anticipation in sport and illustrate how these skills interact in a dynamic manner during performance. We also highlight our current understanding of how these skills are acquired and consider the extent to which the underlying processes are specific to a particular domain and role within that domain. Next, we briefly review recent attempts to facilitate the acquisition of perceptual-cognitive expertise using simulation training coupled with instruction and feedback on task performance. Finally, we discuss how research on elite athletes can help inform applied cognitive psychologists who are interested in capturing and enhancing perceptual-cognitive expertise across various domains.

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© 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Applied Cognitive Psychology