Effect of dual-attention task on attack and defensive actions in fencing

The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect that the presence of two stimuli that require two different responses (dual-attention) has both, on offensive reaction-response time to a light stimulus, and on defensive response time when the stimulus is a real fencing attack. Twenty-five elite fencers and a fencing master were included in the study. The equipment included four force plates adapted to a scaffold that served as a fencing piste. Two force plates were placed, at the start position, under the fencer’s feet and another two plates were placed under the master’s feet. The results demonstrate that choice reaction time to visual stimuli increases in dual-task conditions with respect to simple reaction time, whereas the mean horizontal force tends to decrease in dual-task. However, when the stimulus was an opponent’s movement, dual-task conditions did not have any effect on the time required to initiate a defensive action. The changes in reaction time when real movements were used as stimuli challenge the validity of the reaction time to visual stimuli paradigm as a predictor of performance in fencing. Also, the results obtained demonstrate that perceptual and attentional processes play a major role in fencer performance in real competition.
© Copyright 2017 European Journal of Sport Science. Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Subjects: fencing attack clearance movement velocity movement precision action regulation reaction reaction speed elite sport high performance sport competition
Notations: combat sports social sciences training science
DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2017.1332100
Published in: European Journal of Sport Science
Published: 2017
Volume: 17
Issue: 8
Pages: 1004-1012
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced