Is Anticipation Skill Learning Bayesian?

Nicholas J. Smeeton, Johannes Meyer, Matyas Varga, Stefanie Klatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aims of this study were to examine the learning of anticipation skill in the presence of kinematic and outcome probabilities information, and to see if this learning exhibited characteristics of Bayesian integration. Method: Participants with no competitive tennis playing experience watched tennis player stimuli playing forehand tennis shots and were tasked with predicted shot outcomes. Accuracy, response times and perceived task effort were recorded, pre, post and during four acquisition blocks where outcome feedback was provided. In both Experiment 1 and 2, kinematic information about shot direction was either present in the training group stimuli or absent. In Experiment 1, left/right shot probability information remained equi-probable for both groups. In Experiment 2, both groups also trained with a bias in the shot outcome probability toward one shot direction on 80% of the trials across acquisition blocks (and were not told about this manipulation). Results: Pre-to-post anticipation performance improved in the presence of kinematic (EXP 1) or both information sources (EXP 2). Pre-to-post improvements in the presence of shot outcome probability information were congruent with the bias in the shot direction trained (EXP 2). Superior anticipation performance was found when both information sources were present. The presence of kinematic information resulted in increased perceived effort during early training (EXP 1 & 2). Bayesian odds ratios indicated that shot direction probabilities and kinematic information were integrated during anticipation skill learning. Conclusion: Learning with shot direction probabilities and kinematic information shows characteristics of Bayesian integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2024


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