Adam Barnas, Lauren A. Ellinghausen, Eric M. Gammarino, Laura A. Janosko, Giuseppe G. Miranda



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Aside from obvious differences in training and experience between athletes and non-athletes, there are other perceptual, motivational, and cognitive explanations for differences in athletic performance. Explanations that were investigated in the present research were memory for location and spatial abilities. Thirty athletes (having 10 or more years of experience playing sports) and 30 non-athletes (having less than 6 years of experience playing sports) were given several memory tests, including a test of memory for object location, and spatial intelligence assessments, including a mental rotation task (identifying and matching two objects presented at different visual angles), spatial orientation tasks (imagining different perspectives in space), and movement imagery tasks (visualizing motor actions). The memory test of importance required that participants recall the beginning and ending location of an object that had moved. We predict that athletes will perform better than non-athletes on the memory for object location test (where a moving object is presented among a varying number of distracters). Athletes were also predicted to outperform non-athletes on several spatial abilities tasks because of their experience in tracking the location of objects in relation to objects in a spatial layout, such as the center circle and the baskets on a basketball court.

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Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Susan T. Davis

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Spatial Intelligence and Memory for Location in Athletes and Non-Athletes