17/12/2021 Psychology
DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/n963b SemanticScholar ID: 245311989

The Integration of Tactile and Visual Cues Increases Golf Putting Error in a Mixed-Reality Paradigm.

Publication Summary

The integration of visual and tactile cues can enhance perception. However, the nature of this integration, and the subsequent benefits on perception and action execution, are context-dependent. Here, we examined how visual-tactile integration can influence performance on a complex motor task using virtual reality. We asked participants to wear a VR head-mounted display while using a tracked physical putter to make golf putts on a VR golf course in two conditions. In the ‘tactile’ condition, putter contact with the virtual golf ball coincided with physical contact with a physical ball. In a second ‘no tactile’ condition, no physical ball was present, such that only the virtual ball contacted the putter. In contrast to our pre-registered prediction that performance would benefit from the integration of visual and tactile cues, we found golf putting accuracy was higher in the no tactile condition compared to the tactile condition. Participants exhibited higher lateral error variance and over/undershooting when the physical ball was present. These differences in performance between the conditions suggest that tactile cues, when available, were integrated with visual cues. Second, this integration is not necessarily beneficial to performance. We suggest that the decreased performance caused by the addition of a physical ball may have been due to minor incongruencies between the virtual visual cues and the physical tactile cues. We discuss the implications of these results on the use of VR sports training and highlight that the absence of matched tactile cues in VR can result in sub-optimal learning and performance.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Faisal Mushtaq

Dr. Faisal Mushtaq

University of Leeds - Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience

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