Reaction time

Reaction time involves NO MOVEMENT. It is the time taken to react to a stimulus e.g. gun or whistle. and it then leads on to MOVEMENT TIME (the time taken to complete a skill)  RESPONSE TIME is both REACTION TIME and MOVEMENT TIME put together.

4 parts to reaction time:

  • the stimulus to activate the particular sensory system
  • stimulus to travel from sensory system to the brain
  • The brain (central mechanism) to process the stimulus
  • the commands sent from brain to relevant muscles.

Factors affecting reaction time:

  • age
  • gender
  • state of arousal
  • health
  • number of choices
  • body temperature
  • experience

SIMPLE REACTION TIME = a reaction to ONE stimulus

CHOICE REACTION TIME = where there is a number of stimuli to choose from before performing.

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Psychological Refractory Period

By increasing the REACTION TIME of an opponent is presenting false information E.G. a dummy in Rugby. it gives the player more time.

Certain stance will suggest a certain movement, the opponent will ANTICIPATE this.

The opponent will process that information to prepare and initiate a response.

When the player changes the movement (does the dummy) it will cause the opponent to re evaluate which creates more time.

The delay in being able to react to the second of the two closely spaced stimuli is called the PSYCHOLOGICAL REFRACTORY PERIOD.

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Hicks Law (Links to Reaction Time)

Hicks law states that

  • REACTION TIME will increase with the number of STIMULUS RESPONSE choices increase.
  • he discovered that the time taken to react increases proportionally to the number of POSSIBLE RESPONSES.
  • RESPONSE TIME remains the same, nevertheless.

How can you improve a performers reaction time:

  • practice
  • improve fitness
  • concentration/selective attention
  • level or arousal/motivation
  • warm up
  • anticipation
  • STIMULUS RESPONSE COMPATIBILITY- you will react quicker to a well known stimulus
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Motor Programmes

  • A motor programme is a GENERALISED SERIES OF MOVEMENTS  or plan of movements stored in the LONG TERM MEMORY.
  •  The executive motor programme is updated and modified each time a skill is performed through FEEDBACK.
  • Executive motor programmes are made up of SUB-ROUTINES, usually performed sequentially.
  • At the autonomous stage of learning, the lower order skills are performed without thought and movement becomes automatic. This means the skill has been GROOVED or OVER LEARNED.
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