Attentional and perceptual capabilities are affected by high physical load in a simulated soccer decision-making task

Stephanie Klatt, Nicholas Smeeton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In a sport-specific decision-making task, we investigated whether different intensities of physical load have different effects on soccer players’ decision-making, visual attention, and perception. Under a rest condition as well as under physical exercise conditions of 70% (Moderate Load) and 90% (High Load) of their heart rate reserve (HRR), participants (N = 30) performed a soccer-related decision-making, a feature-recognition and an object-detection task in front of an immersive screen. Stimuli were displayed across a range of 0°–180° visual angles. The results showed that decision-making performance decreased with increasing visual angles but was not negatively affected by physical demands. However, perceptual and attentional capabilities remained constant in the moderate load condition and deteriorated in the high load condition compared to the rest condition. Furthermore, in the high load condition, perceptual capabilities decreased more drastically with increasing visual angles compared to the other conditions. The findings show that high physical load affects attentional and perceptual capabilities more than moderate physical load, while decision-making performance does not differ in both conditions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-216
    Number of pages12
    JournalSport, Exercise, and performance psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    © American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission.


    • feature-recognition
    • object-detection
    • physical load
    • sport expertise
    • training


    Dive into the research topics of 'Attentional and perceptual capabilities are affected by high physical load in a simulated soccer decision-making task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this