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Reaction time

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Reaction, Movement & Reaction Reaction time measures a performers ability to sense and interpret information before making a movement in sport, based on perceptual ability. The following shows the relationship between reaction time, movement time and response time for an athletics race. Figure 1 Figure 1 shows us that reaction time is the time between the onset of the stimulus and the onset of the response. There is no movement in reaction time; it is the processing of the stimulus before movement takes place. For example, at the start of the race, the reaction time is the period from hearing the gun until just prior to leaving the blocks. Movement time is the time from the beginning to the completion of the task, so that in my example would be from the first movement until the race is finished. Response time is from the onset of the stimulus to the completion of the task, which in my example is the time from the athlete hearing the gun to finishing the race. ...read more.


The player can use this to their advantage by using many or all of these options throughout the game meaning that it is more difficult for the opposition to anticipate or second guess what the player will do. Because there are many options to choose from, the reaction time is slower than that of a simple reaction time. The relationship between reaction and the number of choices is explained by Hick's Law, which states that an increase from a simple reaction time of one choice to a choice reaction time of three or four choices would cause a relatively large increase in reaction time. However, an increase in the number of choices from four to five, six or seven would only increase reaction time by a relatively small amount. Hick's law is illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 2 Reaction time is influenced by the following factors (which in turn affects response time, since it includes both reaction time and movement time): * Age affects response time, as older performers tend to react more slowly. ...read more.


* Getting the performer to focus (e.g. an athlete concentrating on a point down the track before the start of a race or increasing selective attention) * Enhancing the fitness levels of the performer Fast reactions are also promoted by the ability to anticipate. There are three types of anticipation: * Effector anticipation- getting a feel for the skill, rather like a cricketer would get a feel for the wicket before anticipating the pitch of the ball. * Receptor anticipation- experienced players are good at anticipation because the can read a game by looking at the stance and body language of their opponent, I.e. using the cues, or stimuli, from the environment (using receptor mechanisms). * Perceptual anticipation- developed from external sources, such as by studying an opponent on video or receiving extrinsic feedback from a coach on an opponents style of play. Anticipation in sport is seen as a gamble: if you anticipate correctly, your reaction times will be quick; however, incorrect anticipation can cause reaction time to slow. PE Mr Rush Reaction, Movement & Reaction Jack Basford ...read more.

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