Does Teammate Recognition Accuracy Influence Movement Time in Ice Hockey?

Kylie Steel, Sera Dogramaci


Background: Biological motion affords the observer a significant amount of relative information that allows the recognition of various features specific to an individual. These include; movement signatures based on locomotion, and gender, in addition to deception and intention. Recent research has also demonstrated it is possible to discriminate teammates from non-teammates when viewing brief (<500msec) video footage of locomotion specific movement signatures. Further, correlations between recognition, familiarity, liking, reaction time, and movement time were present when observing familiar gait types (swimming and running). However it is not known whether these trends are also present for less common forms of gait such as ice-skating. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate if; 1) ice hockey players could recognize teammates vs non-teammates from brief visual displays within sport relevant time and, 2) ice hockey players were influenced by factors such as familiarity and liking when making decisions associated with accuracy and latencies (RT, MT). Methodology: Participants (N=13) were required to determine the affiliation of skaters in a randomised video sequence of 23 skaters by indicating teammate or not using a latency device. The device captured choice accuracy, reaction time (RT) and movement time (MT). They were then asked to complete two ranking tasks based on level of liking for each skater (social liking and pass choice liking). Results: Data analysis demonstrated that MT was significantly (p<0.05) longer when players perceived the skater as a non-teammate, regardless of decision accuracy, however no other analyses were significant. Conclusion: The results suggest that the perception of a less familiar (non-teammate) individual presents a level of hesitation that affects MT. While this is less problematic within existing teams, newly formed representative teams may be more vulnerable to factors of familiarity or liking thus exaggerated MTs and consequently lost scoring affordances.
Keywords: affordances, biomotion, ice hockey, perception, teammates, visual cues

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